10 Quick Tips


  1. Be patient –people with dementia need time to process thoughts and actions. Allow extra time to get an answer in conversation. Allow extra time to get ready for an outing.
  2. Keep Questions simple – People with dementia cannot process a lot of information in a short time. Keep your questions simple: “Do you want a drink?” NOT “Would you like tea or coffee or as it is rather hot would you prefer a cold drink?”
  3. Remind often – people with dementia forget easily even things which you told them five minutes ago. Remind them often about what is going on but remember to do it in a kindly manner.
  4. Remind them who you are – people with dementia may continue to recognise friends and family but forget their name. Say “Hello, I am Fred” each time you meet.
  5. Do not argue – if it isn’t important when or how something happened don’t bother to correct someone with dementia if they get facts slightly wrong.
  6. Do not correct unless necessary – it can make someone with dementia feel very inadequate if you continually correct them in front of others.
  7. Accept their reality – if the person with dementia says something you know to be untrue “my mother is in the garden” for example (when mother has been dead for years) it is best just to say “Is she.” And let the moment pass rather than begin an argument about truth telling.
  8. Guide rather than point – people with dementia may lose their ability to understand gestures. For example guide them to a chair do not point to it when asking them to sit down.
  9. Make choice easier – by restricting the number of options. Don’t ask “What do you want to eat?” but “Would you like a sandwich or a jacket potato for lunch?”
  10. Choose your battles – Sometimes it is important to take a stand but at other times it doesn’t matter. If the person you care for calls you “Mum” by mistake it isn’t important but if they want to cross the road without checking the traffic it is an important safety issue.