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Living with dementia

2-minute read

In the early stages of dementia, many people are able to look after themselves and their homes in the same way as before their diagnosis.

As the illness gets worse, they may find this difficult and will need help with things like housework and shopping. People with dementia may also need changes to their home to keep themselves safe, mobile and independent.

Some people with dementia give up driving because they find it stressful, while others continue driving for some time. If they continue driving, they must tell the licensing authority that they have dementia. People with dementia must give up driving when their symptoms have become bad enough to make them unsafe drivers.

Keeping in contact with others is good for people with dementia, and they should continue to enjoy their hobbies and interests. These activities also help to keep people alert and stimulated so they maintain an interest in life.

People with dementia may also need to take new medicines prescribed by their doctor. Because of the possibility of side effects and drug interactions, it is very important to consult with the person's doctor if they are considering taking any other medicines, including alternative medicines.

There are also a number of non-drug alternative therapies that may help improve the quality of life for people with dementia. These include therapies to improve understanding and communication, and therapies aimed at managing the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Visit the Alzheimer’s Australia website to find information about these therapies and dementia care research.

Last reviewed: November 2016

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