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We were handed a list of some things that can help if you are caring for someone with Dementia. The following may not all work for you, but they may give you some ideas on improving the care you provide.   When they repeatedly ask the same question, remain calm, give a short answer and pretend they have never asked the question before.

Arrange cupboards to hold the same type of objects, for example, cups in one place, plates in another.

It’s better to make suggestions than to ask for decisions. Say ‘let’s have ham sandwiches for tea’ instead of ‘what do you want for tea?’ Or say ‘I have made coffee, would you like a cup?’ instead of ‘Would you like a drink or something?’

Allay fears and do not argue. Never correct. The person you care for really believes it to be true.

Take the easiest route. A previously intelligent person may not be able to rationalise.

Following a routine can help e.g. tablets in the morning with food.

Take deep breaths and stay calm. The person you care for may have forgotten about it in five minutes.

Try to bring humour to the day. It is very difficult at times but it is worth it in the end.

Find an activity you can both do together. Use their favourite music and photographs to remember things by.

Keep a diary of daily activities, include photos and date them. Write a profile and include facts perhaps forgotten or not known by others. It forms the basis of a wonderful memory book.

People with dementia can get very scared and worried and want to follow you wherever you go. Reassure them that you will not be long and develop reasons for leaving the room, such as ‘I’m just going to smarten up’.

Avoid loud noises if possible and sudden sharp shouting. Speak in a softer voice.

Accept there are times that the person with dementia does not know who you are. They may think you are a parent or a sibling. This is perfectly normal. Never forget that they are ill and also feel confused and bewildered.

When trying to take mum upstairs for a bath, to overcome the difficulty of it all I would say ‘think fit mum’ and we would repeat it on every stair. It helped and brought humour into it as well.

Take appropriate safety precautions, fires, cookers, slipmats, door locks, money, chip pans and cars. Always double check…always be aware, always be on guard.

Layout proper clothes including a choice of appropriate winter and summer clothes. Lay out the clothes in the order they should be put on. Hand one item of clothing at a time. Choose comfortable and loose fitting clothes. Use clothing that makes use of Velcro rather than buttons and zips. Make sure clothes are the right length to help avoid trips and falls.

Make sure shoes are comfortable and non-slip.

If the same outfit is worn repeatedly try getting replica outfits or similar style clothes.

Consider the use of products and equipment to help. E.g. easy hold cutlery or shower chairs.

Watch for unspoken communication such as gestures or facial expressions.

And finally, don’t talk about a person as if he or she weren’t there.