Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Living well with dementia - video transcript

3-minute read

It is important to live life as regularly as possible after a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disease is made. It is important that the home environment is made as safe as possible and that good health is maintained. The video below highlights some things to consider when living with dementia.

Video transcript


I know that dementia is making it harder for me to manage. I mean, if I forget to take my heart medication or I take it twice, I can be in real trouble. As things get worse, what does my future look like? What can I do now that will help later?

Professor Susan Kurrle

Well, when a diagnosis of dementia's made, you want to keep living life as normally as possible. However, there's a number of things you can do to improve safety.

For instance, around the house. Removing any trip hazards, making sure lighting is good, making sure there are rails in the bathroom because balance can be impaired in dementia.

There are a number of things around exercising, and certainly exercise improves balance and reduces the risk of falls. Good eating is really important, and regular eating every day. Ensuring good protein intake is certainly important.

Getting a good routine in terms of personal hygiene. Reminding them to regularly clean their teeth, and making it a routine to have a shower on a daily or a second daily basis is very important.

In terms of medications, it's very important that the GP looks at every medication that the person with dementia's taking and balances the risks and benefits. A number of medications may make memory worse, particularly those that help with bladder function. So it's important to balance up the side effects of those with the negative effects.

So it's important to balance up the side effects of those with the negative effects on the person's memory. There needs to be arrangements put in place for how the person takes the medication. Should the medication be in a prepared Webster-pak or perhaps in a Dosette box? And you still need someone to remind them to take it on a daily basis.

Once you've got a diagnosis of dementia, it's really important to manage other illnesses that you might have as well as possible. Because that means your dementia is likely to progress more slowly, and you're likely to remain more healthy. So medication's an important part of that. And ensuring the medication you take is necessary and does not have any side effects is something your GP and your pharmacist can do.

In dementia, you often see a decrease in appetite. This is usually related to loss of the sense of taste and loss of the sense of smell. And also people simply forget to eat or no longer know how to prepare a sandwich or make a cup of coffee. So eating properly is really important, and sometimes prepared meals are a good way to deal with this. It's also important to remember to keep well hydrated, and drinking plenty of water is a good way to do this.

Watch the related video

Last reviewed: January 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Impetigo -

Impetigo - sometimes called school sores - is a very contagious skin infection. It is most common in children and infants and causes sores, especially on the face.

Read more on myDr website

Breasts: inside women's breasts -

An internal view shows that the breast is made up of fat, nipple, glands and a network of ducts.

Read more on myDr website

Varicose veins -

Varicose veins (twisted, swollen veins) in the legs are a common problem. Find out about the causes, symptoms and treatment for varicose veins.

Read more on myDr website

Listeria risk in pregnancy -

Listeria bacteria can cause serious problems during pregnancy. Listeria can be transmitted by eating contaminated food, but there are steps you can take to avoid infection.

Read more on myDr website

Physical activity in children and teenagers -

Get the low down on why physical activity is so important for children and teenagers.

Read more on myDr website

Ultrasound -

Ultrasound is a way of taking a look at the unborn baby without using potentially harmful X-rays.

Read more on myDr website

Head lice -

Head lice (or nits), which live and breed in hair or on the scalp, can be treated by wet combing with a conditioner or with various shampoos and lotions.

Read more on myDr website

Ovulation testing -

Find out how ovulation tests can help you find your most fertile days and increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Read more on myDr website

Childhood rashes -

Distinguish between the childhood rashes of rubella (German measles), measles, chickenpox and fifth disease ('slapped cheek' disease).

Read more on myDr website

Child Energy Requirements Calculator -

Find out the estimated energy requirement (EER) for infants, children and adolescents at different physical activity levels.

Read more on myDr website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo