12 tips for caring for a loved one with dementia…

Tip one

Step into their shoes: explore your home and examine the areas that might cause trouble.  Been avoiding a wonky floorboard or wonky handle? Now is a great time to fix those small problems and reduce clutter. 

Tip two

Reminisce! Placing photographs of cherished memories and events from both of your lives will help you and your loved one to stay bonded as you help them through the day.











Tip three

Have a respite area. The loved one you care for will benefit from you being well rested just as much as you! 











Tip four

Remember any frustration, guilt and anger are common. Talk to someone you trust about how being a carer is affecting you; you can even chat with other carers at support groups in your local area!











Tip five

If possible, install grab bars and loo roll in easy reach of the lavatory. 











Tip six

Close off dangerous areas of the house, such as attics and garages. Try to keep as much of the house available to your loved one as possible, a room proofed for safety is better than a locked door. 

Tip seven

Laminated instructions for everyday tasks, for those with dementia the many little steps it takes to complete some tasks can become a struggle. Having clear instructions will help your loved one to complete tasks alone and be self reliant for longer!

Tip eight

Try not to take over. It can be tempting to just do things yourself to save time, but in the long run letting your loved one take part in safe tasks keeps them from feeling like a burden and helps keep your bond strong.











Tip nine

Clearly label the contents of different cupboards and draws, pictures are also useful! 

Tip ten

Caring for plants inside and outside of the home provides many opportunities for independence, helping those with dementia to participate and enjoy seeing the space flourish! 











Tip eleven

A whiteboard or noticeboard with a daily routine helps to ensure a good sleeping pattern and if your loved one can follow it themselves it frees up time for you.











Tip twelve

Don’t feel alone. If you want to discuss your situation with other carers, forums can help. The dementia helpline is also there to answer your questions: call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122, 9am – 5pm 











Extra tips:

  • As a carer you may be entitled to certain benefits, ensuring that you know what these are can be crucial in providing the right care for your loved one.
  • It can be useful to simplify floor surfaces, reducing the variety of colours to avoid distraction
  • Doors that lead to the “danger” zone can be covered with sheets of paper that resemble the surrounding walls in colour
  • Simple, contrasting colours help those with dementia to make sense of a space and the furniture in it. For example a dark sofa with a white carpet
  • Try to remove rugs that can present a falling hazard

There are a wide variety of forums available: