How Do I Support a Person Living with Dementia? 10 Tips for Success

Our 10 Tips for success in supporting someone living with dementia.

Supporting someone living with dementia requires patience, understanding, and a compassionate approach. Here are some essential tips for providing effective support:

Educate Yourself

Learn as much as you can about dementia, including its symptoms, progression, and common challenges. Understanding this diagnosis will help you provide better care and support.

Foster Communication

Use clear, simple language and speak slowly and calmly. Maintain eye contact and give the person living with dementia plenty of time to respond. Be patient and avoid correcting or arguing with them if they become confused or agitated.

Establish Routines

Creating consistent routines can help reduce anxiety and confusion for individuals affected by dementia. Stick to regular schedules for meals, medication, and daily activities as much as possible

Create a Safe Environment

Make modifications to the home environment to enhance safety and reduce the risk of accidents. Remove hazards, such as loose rugs or clutter, and install handrails or grab bars as needed. Consider using locks or alarms on doors to prevent wandering.

Provide Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Assist the person living with dementia with tasks such as dressing, grooming, and bathing as needed. Offer gentle reminders and step-by-step instructions to help them complete these activities independently whenever possible.

Encourage Independence

Support the person living with dementia in maintaining their independence and dignity for as long as possible. Offer choices and opportunities for them to make decisions about their care and daily activities.

Engage in Meaningful Activities

Encourage participation in activities that the person enjoys and finds meaningful. This could include hobbies, crafts, music, or gentle exercise. Adapt activities to their abilities and interests to promote engagement and a sense of accomplishment.

Seek Support for Yourself (Self-Care)

Caring for someone affected by dementia can be challenging, so it’s essential to prioritize your own well-being. Reach out to family members, friends, or support groups for emotional support and practical assistance. Consider seeking respite care to give yourself a break from caregiving responsibilities.

Be Flexible and Patient

Dementia can cause unpredictable behavior and mood changes, so it’s essential to remain flexible and patient. Focus on maintaining a calm and supportive attitude, even during difficult moments. Take breaks when needed to avoid burnout.

Plan for the Future

As the person’s disease progresses, it’s essential to plan for their future care needs. Discuss long-term care options with family members and healthcare professionals, and consider legal and financial planning, such as setting up power of attorney and advance directives.


By following these tips and approaches, you can provide meaningful support and care for a person living with dementia while promoting their independence, dignity, and well-being. Remember to prioritize self-care and seek assistance when needed to ensure that both you and the person living with dementia receive the support you need.

About the Author

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The NCCDP staff consists of a full team of experts in dementia care & education.