10 Ways to Support Someone Living With Dementia

Our Dementia Lead David Moore has provided 10 suggestions for supporting someone who is living with dementia in their own home:

1. Bring the outdoors in

Flower arrangements and potting seeds can all be done from the comfort of a chair. Brightening up the indoors and also helping those with ‘green fingers’ to keep enjoying their hobby.

2. Use the power of music

Create playlists with songs from different decades, you can even print out some lyrics and have a sing-a-along to lift spirits, boost morale, and light up those all-important pathways in the brain.

3. Welcome distractions

Involve the person living with dementia in general and easy-to-do tasks. It creates a feeling of purpose, allowing individuals to remain busy, occupied, and keeping a feeling of independence. Simple tasks like setting the table, or a bit of cleaning (where it's safe to do so) would be perfect. 

4. Keep the mind active

Activities like reading and doing puzzles and simple jigsaws can be an efficient way to keep the mind active. Organisations like Relish and Alzheimer’s Society provide ready-to-go dementia-friendly puzzles and books.

5. Go virtual

Use virtual tours online to 'travel' to places and look around museums and gardens from the comfort of home. 

6. Stay connected

Reach out to family members and friends. There are a lot of free, easy-to-use applications available like Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime, etc.

7. Awaken the senses

It’s important to awake all of the senses particularly scent – use lemons, mint, candles, shoe polish, fabric softener, etc. which can allow individuals to reminisce of their childhood or could ignite a conversation.

8. Use signage

Put up signs around the home as people living with dementia may need an occasional reminder. Download our toiletbathroom and lounge signs that are simple and easy to read.

9. Keep active

There are some great online resources. Download our MHA Active app which has a dementia friendly section including Love to Move sessions (chair-based exercise that uses cognitive and memory activities). Don’t underestimate the power of a little movement, which can be enjoyed from home. 

10. Get fresh air

It’s important to get as much fresh air as you can. Open a window, and where possible, go out in your garden, or front porch so you can breathe in some fresh air and get some much-needed Vitamin D.

As MHA, our approach is all about focusing on individual needs and support for older people, aiming to alleviate the symptoms of dementia with understanding and expertise. Learn more about our specialist dementia care.

Page last updated: September 2023.

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