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Dementia Care Dos and Don’ts


Rates of dementia are rising leaving more people with the challenging job of caring for someone with dementia. Currently, more than 400,000 Australians live with dementia. This number is expected to rise to more than 800,000 by 2058.  Dementia care requires a holistic approach that focuses on the person’s mental, physical, and spiritual health. At Home Care Assistance, our Care Professionals know some things can be implemented in dementia care to make it easier to care for your loved one. Here are some dos and don’ts that we find useful in caring for a person with dementia.

Dos of Dementia Care

  • Slow Down

Slowing down and doing one thing at a time can reduce confusion.

  • Create a Calm Environment

When there are lots of different stimuli in the environment, it can be easy to get confused and frustrated. Keeping the environment audibly and visually quiet, and at a comfortable temperature, minimises distractions and reduces confusion and frustration.

  • Support independence

A lack of independence can facilitate feelings of frustration and helplessness. The things your loved one desires to do independently will depend on their wishes, but listening to them and being creative regarding how things can be done safely will help maintain their independence.

  • Maintain Routine

Having a routine makes it easier for someone with dementia to know what to expect and helps reduce confusion.

  • Keep Things Simple

Long and complicated sentences can be difficult to follow for people with dementia. Keeping your sentences short and simple can make communication more successful and less frustrating for everyone.

  • Be Patient and Flexible

Caring for a loved one with dementia takes patience and flexibility. Meet your loved one where they are rather than having expectations of them.

  • Respond to Your Loved One’s Feelings

Your loved one may be expressing their thoughts and feelings through their words and actions. Make the space to listen to them and respond to their feelings.

Don’ts of Dementia Care

  • Don’t treat them like a child

Dementia is not a return to childhood but a winding down of an era. Speaking to your loved one like a child can hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

  • Don’t speak to the person in the negatives

Focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Use this approach to direct them towards positive things, or things they can do safely rather than telling them to stop doing something.

  • Don’t scold or argue with your loved one

Older people with dementia make mistakes and get confused. While it can be frustrating, avoid arguing with them or telling them off.

  • Don’t Remove Yourself Emotionally

Focus on connection by telling stories or expressing your feelings to your loved one. You both still need that connection.

  • Don’t Live in the Past

Your loved one may not remember things from the past. Don’t dwell on these things but focus on the present instead.

  • Don’t talk as if the person isn’t there

Make sure you include your loved one in the conversation even if you need to join their reality.

Implementing these dos and don’ts of dementia care can help you look after your loved one. However, don’t forget it is also okay to ask for help – you don’t have to do it all on your own. At Home Care Assistance we specialise in dementia care. If you are struggling to care for your loved one, contact us today to see how our Care Professionals can help you and your loved one.

Support of an in-home care agency like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home.  Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with a Home Care Assistance near me today.  


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