Dementia is, unfortunately, a relatively common reality for many aged loved ones around the world, with 5 – 8% of the global population over 60 as sufferers. The disease can be heartbreaking and frightening for the individual affected, and, at times, even more so for their loved ones. While a person might be in optimal physical health and live to old age, their cognitive functioning can severely decline. There are different stages of dementia, that all bring varying degrees of confusion, forgetfulness, and other cognitive symptoms. However, there are ways that families and loved ones can help to manage and take care of sufferers of dementia to preserve their health and wellbeing as far as possible.

Check-In With The Doctor

Once your loved one starts to exhibit some of the tell-tale signs of dementia, you might want to take him or her to a gerontologist to confirm a diagnosis, as well as give you a bit of specific information about what to expect going forward. They also might be able to refer or recommend you to a carer or therapist, such as an Occupational Therapist that specializes in dementia in your area, to support your loved one with activities of daily living, as well as leisure engagement. These professionals will be able to provide strategies for you and your loved one to encourage a less challenging experience for all. 

Living Environment

If your loved one lives alone or their spouse is too aged to take care of them, you might be considering a longer-term plan for their living. Ideally, you want an environment where they are able to enjoy as much freedom and independence as possible while doing so in a secure, supervised, and safe environment. If your budget allows for it, there are spectacular living facilities for the aged, with a range of care options to assist persons with mild to severe dementia. Take for instance a permanent care option at, where they offer specialized sensitive dementia care, acknowledging the depth of the experience of the disease for all involved.

Memory Aids

A nice way to help your loved one with dementia keep track of plans is to buy them a diary planner, with a bookmark and leave it next to the telephone. This way they can jot down plans when on the phone and refer to the book if someone wants to know their availability. You also get special digital clocks that tell the time, day, date, month, and location. These clocks have the option of reading out loud as well as a visual display option. Keeping notes and reminders around the house such as on the fridge, on the mirror, or on the door will help to remind them to switch off appliances and do other daily tasks. You also get safety timers for dangerous appliances such as stoves, that switch off automatically if left on. If you have not done so already, you should also ensure your loved one has an identity document of sorts on their person at all times, such as kept in their wallet. This in the event that they are in trouble, and there is a contact number for someone to call. Once a person starts becoming a bit more severely impacted by the illness, strategies around money management need to be implemented to ensure they are not taken advantage of or lose their money.

Center Visits Around An Activity

When conversations with your loved one become repetitive, painful, or too difficult to manage, a good way to ensure connection and a stress-reducing environment is to plan family visits around a concrete activity of sorts. For instance, if there is a baby or pet in your family, a picnic in the park with the baby or pet is a relaxed way to bond. The same goes for a walk or spending time in nature, enjoying the calming benefits of nature. Often the longer-term memories are preserved, so if your loved one was once a keen gardener or lover of plants, you might find this type of activity is a cue for some older memories. Music is also a great means for calming and connecting and often has a very evocative effect on the person with dementia. You might even find they are able to sing along to lyrics from their youth.

Dementia is a difficult degenerative disease for the sufferer, as well as all involved. If you are living this reality with someone you love, there are several tips and strategies you can try implementing to improve the quality of living for your loved one, and the rest of the involved family.