Lists of facts and symptoms help us to understand dementia, but they can’t describe the way dementia changes a person’s relationships with the people they love. This is one of the most upsetting things about dementia, and is different for every person and every family.
Here are some things that may help:
The best way you can help someone with dementia is to give them some of your time. This might feel difficult top do but it will help. Visit What works for us to read practical advice from young people who have a grandparent or parent with dementia.
Only do as much as you feel you can.
When things don’t go to plan, remind yourself that it’s not your fault. If you don’t feel safe, step away or leave the room. Try again when you are ready. It can take a while to find things that you can enjoy doing together and these things may change over time. What seems wrong one day might be right another day, so don’t be afraid to have a go.
Talk to someone.
This can be hard, especially if the person you’d like to talk to is dealing with his or her own emotions. Some people find it helpful to speak to friends, or other people who are experiencing the same thing. If you can’t think of anyone you can talk to, visit the useful links page for ideas about where to get help and support.
Try to take time out when you can.
It’s normal to feel happy, to laugh and to think about the other things that are happening in your life. Don’t feel guilty about being yourself
It can feel simpler to search for answers on the internet, but everyone with dementia is different. What is true for one person may not be true for your loved one, or your family. You may find answers to some of your questions here, but the best people to ask are the medical professionals who are helping to care for your relative.
Some young people live with a relative who has dementia, and may help to care for them. This can be a very difficult thing to do. If you are a young carer, visit the useful links page to find out where you can get information and support.
When somebody in your family has dementia, it can change your life in many different ways. It’s normal to feel many different emotions. At the bottom of this page you can read some quotes from other young people about how dementia has affected them.
These feelings are all normal, but they can be very difficult to cope with. If you need support, the best thing to do is to talk to someone you trust and ask for help.
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.