Communication will get harder over time as the illness progresses. Here are some tips that will help you stay connected with your patient:

– Use simple words and sentences when speaking

– Try to control emotions in times of potential or ongoing crisis

– Ask questions that could be answered only with a YES or NO

– Create a schedule, allocating both personal and bonding time for the day

Here are some useful questions if you want to start a conversation with the person you care for:

– What does the person you care for want to do themselves for as long as possible?

– If you need more care assistance, what kind of help would the person you care for prefer (now/ future)?

– What are the person’s you care for preferences when they are no longer able to bathe by themselves?

– Would they prefer help from a: male or a female, a family member, qualified professional?

– What are their wishes towards the end?


The earlier the better to talk about topics or plan solutions for issues that may be of concern for you or the person you care! Note their preferences and start a conversation on how you can help them and yourself achieve that.

Dementia can unfortunately cause visual and hearing impairments during a patient’s life. Here are some questions which could help you improve the everyday life of the person you care for:


– Is there enough light?

– Is there enough contrast in colours?

– Is the person you care for wearing their glasses?

– Do you need a doctor’s consultation?


Is there too much noise?

Is the person you care for have a hearing aid? Is he/ she wearing it?

Do you need a doctor’s consultation?

Still don’t know how to help? Here are some tips!

Here are some ways you can get the attention of the person you care for in a respectful manner:

– Speak clearly, slowly, in a respectable volume and don’t forget to face and be at eye level with the person living with dementia

– Tap their hand, arm, shoulder

– Call the person by a name he/she recognizes

Use the above ways to attract their attention respectfully!

To prepare for making decisions as a carer, first you need to have in mind and follow the person’s wishes. Here are some questions that will help you prepare according to their choices:

– Where does the person you care for prefer to live (if it is no longer possible to stay at home)?

– What aspects of home/ community/ facility care are important to them?

– Who does the person you care for want in charge of their finances when they are no longer capable of doing it?

– Are there medical treatments that the person you care for wants to receive or refuse?

– What does the person you care for want when eating is no longer possible? Is a feeding tube an option?

– Does the person you care for have any particular fears or concerns about medical treatments?

– How does the person you care for want to be treated at the end of their life?

Are you wondering who to turn to? Here is some advice that will make it easier for you to ask for support:

– Think about what you want, what you need, and what your feelings are about your current situation

– Be honest and direct

– Keep in mind the feelings of the person you are talking to

– Break down your task into smaller parts (it is easier to provide help for a smaller request)

More advice?

Here are some activities providing helpful ways to involve the person you care for around mealtimes:


Let the person living with dementia choose what food or drinks they would like to buy for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Meal Preparation

Let the person you care for help on the cooking process.

Table preparation

Let the person living with dementia prepare the table for your next meal.


Let the person you care for remove everything from the table and clean it.

Washing/ Drying dishes

Let the person living with dementia help you wash or dry the dishes.

If you think that the person you care for can still engage in these activities, perhaps think of trying to include him/ her more in everyday tasks!

Have you observed that the health of the person you care for may have declined?

But you don’t know how to help them?

And you’re looking for recommendations to combat any health issues that may arise?

More advice.

If the person you care for is in the late stages of dementia, they may experience difficulties that can cause several health problems. Here are some tips to help you combat such issues:

– Modify the person’s eating patterns to improve their nutrition

– Help them eat/ drink safely by keeping inedible materials and household chemicals somewhere safe

– Prevent aspiration pneumonia by modifying their foods/ drinks and positioning them in an upright position when helping them eat.

It’s pretty common for dementia to affect a person’s ability to identify or use the bathroom properly. Here are some useful tips for you:

– Put an image of a toilet in the bathroom door for easier identification

– Provide directions to the toilet if needed

– Put nightlights in the path between the bedroom and the toilet

– Use a different colour for the toilet seat

– Change their pants to some that are easier to remove

– Provide instructions if they forget how to use the toilet

During the late stages of dementia, the person you care for may not be able to control their bladder/ bowel movements. Some of the problems:

– Constantly taking the pad off and throwing it on the floor?

– Wet pants even while using the incontinence pads?

– Sore or irritated skin in the genital area?

– Fever, Feelings of pain, Strong smelling urine?

The solutions!

Dementia may affect a person’s ability to wash themselves or bath. Here are some tips you can use to assist them:

– Identify the time of day that the person with dementia prefers to shower/bath

– Switch from a shower/ bath to a sponge bath

– If using the shower/ bath, also put a non-slip mat to prevent any accidents

– Use aid equipment if needed (grab bars, shower chairs etc.

– Reduce the water flow if the person you care for is afraid

Do you need help managing your person’s walking habits? And prevent them from getting lost? But don’t know what measures to take?

– Keep to the already known routines and activities

– Use reassuring words if needed (“we are safe..”)

– Ensure that all the person’s basic needs have been met (going to the bathroom…)

– Avoid busy and confusing places that can cause disorientation

– Make sure that the person you care for carries identification

– Make sure the home they’re living in is secure

– Keep an up-to-date photo of them in case they get lost, so you can ask for help

– In case of a missing person who is later found, try to speak calmly, and avoid blaming and anger

As a carer you may not have time to do everything you want to. And that’s ok! But it’s also important to take the necessary steps to take care your own health and wellbeing!

– Involve other people (family members or friends, in order to reduce some of the stress)

– Take breaks (take regular short breaks and consider what helps you relax)

– Looking after your physical health (eat balanced meals, be physically/ mentally active, find new hobbies, get enough sleep)

It is important to take care of your mental health, while caring for a person with dementia. Practice these activities to help you relax and reduce your everyday stress!

– Belly breathing

– Mindful breathing

– Progressive muscle relaxation

– Guided imagery

– Relaxing music and sounds

More detailed instructions!