Dos and Don'ts Of Caring For Someone With Dementia

Dementia patients may experience difficulties with memory, language, thinking, problem-solving, and other daily functions. Understanding and dealing with a dementia diagnosis can be difficult, but you are not alone. 

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 50 million people worldwide have dementia. This type of memory disease worsens as it nears the later stages; however, improving your loved ones' quality of life is achievable with professional dementia care.

Read on to grasp further the dos and don'ts of caring for something with dementia and what useful dementia care tips to apply for those who opt for in-home dementia care.

Early Symptoms Of Dementia

Early symptoms begin to show on and off, where such changes may be subtle at first but become more noticeable over time. They may, for example, begin to cause issues with familiar tasks such as using a phone or taking public transportation.

  • Confusion and the need for assistance with daily tasks such as shopping or bill payment
  • Language and comprehension issues, such as frequently being unable to find the right word or having difficulty following a conversation
  • Changes in behavior, such as becoming anxious or irritable.

Early detection of dementia symptoms can significantly impact your elderly relative's future care. If you notice any new or unusual behaviors, keep track of the patterns and severity on your phone or in a journal. Make an appointment with your loved one's doctor to discuss the changes.


Here are some practical strategies for dealing with the troubling behavior issues and communication difficulties frequently encountered when caring for someone with dementia.

Create a positive environment for interaction. 

Your attitude and body language convey your feelings and thoughts more effectively than words. Make a good first impression by speaking to your loved one in a pleasant and respectful tone. Use facial expressions, tone of voice, and physical touch to help convey your message and demonstrate your affection.

Organize activities into steps. 

Many tasks become much more manageable as a result. You can encourage your loved ones to do what they can, gently remind them of steps they forget, and assist with steps they can no longer compete on their own. Visual cues, such as showing him where to place the dinner plate with your hand, can be very helpful.

Provide options. 

Every day, offer some, but not too many, options. For example, offer two outfit options and inquire whether they prefer a hot or cold beverage or whether they would prefer to go for a walk or see a movie.

Be sure to validate their feelings.

Cursing, arguing, and threatening are common manifestations of anger or stress. React calmly and reassuringly. Validate your loved one's emotions before attempting to divert or redirect his attention to something else.


It's crucial to note that some seniors with dementia create are frequently encountered when providing care for people with dementia. 

Don't ever leave them unattended in the bathroom.

Prepare all of your bath necessities ahead of time. Draw the bath water first if giving a bath. Assure the individual that the water is warm by pouring a cup of water over her hands before she enters.

A towel bath is a relaxing alternative if bathing in the tub or shower is consistently unpleasant. A bed bath has traditionally been reserved for the frailest and bedridden patients, who are soaped up in their beds, rinsed with a basin of water, and dried with towels.

Don't get into a debate about what they saw or didn't see.

Avoid arguing or attempting to persuade the person that their perceptions are incorrect. Maintain well-lit rooms to reduce shadows, and provide reassurance and a simple explanation if the curtains move due to circulating air or if a loud noise, such as a plane or siren, is heard. 

Distractions may be beneficial. Medications may be considered depending on the severity of your symptoms.

Don't lose your sense of humor with the patient.

Use humor whenever possible, but not at the other person's expense. People with dementia usually retain their social skills and are happy to laugh with you.

Each person with dementia or Alzheimer's will have a unique experience with its symptoms and progression. Adapt these helpful hints to the specific needs of your family member.

Patience and flexibility, as well as self-care and the support of friends and family, can assist you in dealing with the challenges and frustrations. Understanding the dos and don'ts of caring for someone with dementia can guide you into providing the highest possible care for your loved ones. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are some dos when caring for someone with dementia?

You should maintain a calm environment, use simple and clear language, and ensure a consistent routine to provide a sense of security.

What are some don'ts when caring for someone with dementia?

Avoid arguing or correcting the person, don't rush them, and try not to show frustration or impatience.

How can I support a loved one's independence who has dementia?

Encourage them to participate in daily tasks as much as they can, and use assistive devices to help maintain their independence.

These include night care for dementia patients and useful tips for seniors during a pandemic. Check out our resources at Senior Strong provide information about dementia care. 

Was this article helpful?
William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
After years of living under the care of your parents and other family members, the time will arrive for you to reciprocate. At Senior Strong, you can show your loved ones just how much you value them.
642 W 28th St, Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 877-8342
Senior Strong © Copyright 2023, All Rights Reserved