When a person with dementia finds that their mental abilities are declining, they’ll probably feel anxious, stressed and scared. They may be aware of their increasing clumsiness and inability to remember things, and this can be very frustrating and upsetting for them.
If you care for someone with dementia, you can help them feel more secure by creating a regular daily routine in a relaxed environment where they're encouraged and supported.
In the early stages of dementia, memory aids can be used around the house to help the person remember where things are. For example, you could put pictures on cupboard doors of what's inside, such as cups and saucers. This may help to trigger their memory and enable them to retain their independence longer.
You can also involve them in everyday tasks such as shopping, setting the table or raking leaves in the garden. These types of tasks may help them to feel useful and improve their sense of self-worth.
As the illness progresses, these tasks may become harder for them to manage independently, and you may need to give them more support. Offer support sensitively and don't be critical of their attempts. It can be very important for them to feel that they're still useful.
Last reviewed: February 2017