What can I do?

The best way you can help someone with dementia is to give him or her some of your time. This can feel difficult. They may have better days and worse days, and you may not know what to expect.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what to say or do. Just being there for someone with dementia can help.

A person with dementia can often remember things that happened when they were younger. But they might forget things that have just happened.

They may enjoy talking about photographs, memories, music or films from the past. Try asking questions about things they used to do, and listen carefully to the answers. By doing this you can help to make them feel loved and involved.

Some people with dementia find it hard to talk to other people. Their illness has affected the parts of the brain that help them to speak and understand words. It can be hard spending time with a person who can’t speak, but sometimes just being there can help. Small things like holding hands, sharing a hug or sitting together can feel special for everyone.

Sometimes it be helpful to plan an activity to do together, or a topic to talk about. Your family can help you to plan. Visit the What works for us page to read ideas from young people who have a grandparent or parent with dementia. You can also find more tips here.

Each person with dementia is different, so talk about your ideas with the people who care for your loved one. Ask what helps to make your them feel happy, safe and calm.

Find out more below:

This information was updated in November 2021 and is due for review in November 2023. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.