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 with Alzheimer's disease

Each person’s experience of Alzheimer’s disease will be different. When a person with dementia finds that their mental abilities are declining, they’re likely to feel frustrated, anxious, stressed and scared.

The onset of Alzheimer’s disease is usually quite gradual. Symptoms appear gradually but progressively worsen as the disease spreads in the brain.

There are several steps you can take which may help delay the onset of dementia such as:

If you have Alzheimer’s disease, you may find it useful to:

  • write yourself reminders and keep a diary
  • pin a weekly timetable to the wall
  • put your keys in an obvious place, such as in a large bowl in your living room
  • install safety devices, such as gas detectors and smoke alarms, throughout your home.

There are also cognitive stimulation programs available that involve taking part in activities and exercises to improve your memory, problem-solving skills and language ability.

If you are caring for someone with dementia, you will want to do everything you can to reassure and support them while helping them retain some level of independence.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, research is continuing and as more is revealed about the condition, other ways to treat or prevent it may be found.

Slowing down dementia - expert advice

Although there is no cure for dementia, there are treatments that can help with symptoms. The progression of dementia can differ from person to person, but healthy eating, and physical and mental exercise may slow it down. This video highlights safety considerations for carers or people living with dementia.

Read the related video transcript

Dementia education and training

Want to learn what dementia is and how best to help someone living with dementia? Education and training courses provide valuable skills and support, and complement other services.

Courses and workshops are offered for families and carers, and people with dementia. Recreation activities for families, friends, carers and people with dementia are also available.

Check out the educational programs run by Alzheimer’s Australia in your state or territory at

At home

Creating a safe and comfortable home environment plays an important role in ensuring better quality of life for people with dementia. The fundamental purpose of a dementia-friendly home is to try to compensate for the effects of dementia and to support retained function and skills.

Fact sheets to help you create a dementia-friendly home are available at

The home environment will contribute significantly to the quality of life for people with dementia when it:

  • stimulates
  • orientates
  • boosts self-esteem and confidence
  • involves daily activity
  • supports family, friends and the community
  • is secure.

Legal and financial preparedness

People with dementia can experience a loss of control over nearly every aspect of their lives. Where possible people with dementia should be involved in the planning and day-to-day management of their own financial and legal concerns.

But if there is a need for these aspects to be attended to by a person’s loved ones, there are many resources available which can be helpful.

Planning ahead is crucial. Aspects to consider include:

  • planning for financial decisions
  • making a will
  • Enduring Power of Attorney
  • decisions about medical treatment
  • guardianship and administration.

Further information about planning for legal and financial matters for people with dementia can be found at

Alzheimer’s Australia offers support, information and referral services and counselling. The National Dementia Helpline can be contacted from anywhere in Australia on 1800 100 500.

Last reviewed: May 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 125 results

RealTime Health - Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementia - Early signs

In this 'Speaking From Experience' video clip, people with Alzheimer's and their carers share some of the first signs they experienced or observed of the condition.

Read more on RealTime Health website

RealTime Health - Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementia - Telling people

In this 'Speaking From Experience' video clip, participants share their emotional journey of deciding who to tell about their diagnosis.

Read more on RealTime Health website

Dementia (Alzheimer's disease) information video | myVMC

Living with dementia and providing dementia care can be difficult. Watch tips and advice from doctors and people with Alzheimers disease in this video.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Alzheimer's Australia | Living With Dementia series

Offered ina range of formats to meet peoples individual needs, attendees will be given the opportunity to: Obtain information Have questions answered Meet and talk confidentially with others in a similar situation Discuss experiences and express feelings in a safe environment Focus on maintaining and enhancing skills and abilities Explore ways of managing now and into the future

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | Statistics

Key facts and statistics 2016 Updated February 2016

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimers disease

Alzheimers disease is a form of dementia.

Read more on WA Health website

Alzheimer's Australia | Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting up to 70% of all people with dementia Quick facts Alzheimer's disease damages the brain, resulting in impaired memory, thinking and behaviour The biggest risk factor for having Alzheimers disease is increasing age, with three in ten people over 85 having dementia Sporadic Alzheimers disease can affect anyone of any age Familial Alzheimers disease is a very rare genetic condition, with an age of onset of less than 65 years

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's Australia | BrainyApp

Free Brain Health App! BrainyApp was developed in 2011 by Alzheimers Australia in partnershipwithBupa Health Foundationto raise awareness of the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, and to help you be brain healthy. There are more than 353,800 Australians currently living with dementia, with this number set to increase to 900,000 by 2010.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Alzheimer's disease -

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. Find out all you need to know, including what causes it and whether it can be prevented.

Read more on myDr website

Alzheimer's Australia | Types of dementia

Dementia is the umbrella term for a number of neurological conditions, of which the major symptom includes a global decline in brain function. It is a condition that has been noted in people for hundreds of years. Dementia was a relatively rare occurrence before the 20th century as fewer people lived to old age in pre-industrial society. It was not until the mid 1970s that dementia begun to be described as we know it today. We now know dementia is a disease symptom, and not a normal part of aging.

Read more on Alzheimer's Australia website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information 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

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