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How to live with a person affected by dementia

As the disease advances, living with and caring for a person affected by dementia can be very complicated.

The following tips will help you stay organised, prevent conflict situations and promote self-control. 

The bathroom 

  • Bathe at a time that is calmer for the individual as the bathroom usually produces fear and confusion.
  • Always repeat the same routine.
  • Say out loud what you are going to do, step by step.
  • Maintain an adequate bath temperature.
  • Use non-slip mats and grab bars to avoid accidents.
  • Never leave them alone in the bathroom.



The food 

  • Make sure there is silence so that you can eat calmly.
  • Offer appetising foods with flavours you know, of different textures and colours.  
  • Serve several small meals throughout the day, with food you can eat with your hands.  
  • Watch that they do not choke. As the disease progresses, the person has more difficulty chewing or swallowing and is more at risk of choking.  
  • Use utensils that they can use on their own: cutlery with large or extended handles, deep and large plates, cups with lids or straws. 
  • Give them a choice of limited food options.



  • Try to always dress at the same time, with time and without haste.  
  • Give a choice between two garments, no more.  
  • Encourage them to dress themself as much as possible. Place clothes in the order they should be worn.  
  • Clothes should be comfortable, easy to put on and take off. For example, with elastics at the waist and Velcro closures. 





  • Physical activity boosts mood and reduces apathy.  
  • Do simple activities or break down the activity into small steps.  
  • Praise the person when they have completed the activity.  
  • If they are agitated or frustrated, distract them with something different.  
  • Choose a good place and a good time of day to exercise.   
  • It allows the person to be as autonomous as possible.  
  • Have them participate in daily activities: preparing food, setting the table, or putting away dishes.   


Home safety standards   

  • Remove bathroom locks to prevent it from unintentionally locking up. 
  • Store cleaning products in a safe place that the person does not have access to.  
  • Label medications and store them in a safe place.  
  • Keep the house tidy. Remove carpets and objects that you may bump or slip with.  
  • Consider installing safety devices, such as smoke or gas detectors.  
  • Make sure there is good lighting throughout the house. 






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