When a person with dementia finds that their mental abilities are declining, they’re likely to feel anxious, stressed and scared. They may be aware of their increasing clumsiness and inability to remember things, and this can be very frustrating and upsetting for them.
If you are looking after someone with dementia, you can help them feel more secure by creating a regular daily routine in a relaxed environment, where they’re encouraged and not criticised.
Involving the person you look after in everyday tasks may make them feel useful and improve their sense of self-worth. They could help with the shopping, laying the table or sweeping leaves in the garden, for example.
As the illness progresses, these tasks may become harder for them to manage independently, and you may need to give them more support.
How you can help
The main way you can help someone with dementia is by offering support sensitively and try not to be critical of what they do. It can be very important for the person with dementia to feel that they’re still useful.
In the early stages, memory aids can be used around the home to help the person remember where things are.
For example, you could put pictures on cupboard doors of what’s inside, such as cups and saucers. This may help to trigger their memory and enable them to retain their independence a little longer.