When someone close to you gets diagnosed with dementia, it can be difficult for them – and you – to know where to start when it comes to care.

It’s about balancing the ability to live independently for as long as possible, with knowing when to help as a loved one and, when it’s time to seek help from professionals. You can only do so much and everyone who cares for someone with dementia will need help at some stage, by focusing on what you can do, it means that you can seek the support you need for those things you can’t do. There is no shame in asking for help and there are organisations out there who can offer advice.

It seems obvious, but caring for someone living with dementia can have a big impact on your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing. It’s why you have to take time for yourself, because as a carer you will feel a wide range of emotions and by taking time out, it will give you the space you need to understand why you feel that way and accept that these emotions – frustration, exhaustion, relief, guilt – are all a normal reaction to what might be a very difficult situation.

Here are some hopefully useful tips on how you can care for someone with dementia.

Helping with everyday tasks

In the early stages of dementia, many people can enjoy life in the same way as before their diagnosis. However, as symptoms get worse, that person may start to feel anxious, stressed and scared at not being able to remember things, follow conversations or concentrate on a particular task.

That’s why it’s important to support that person to maintain their skills, abilities, and an active social life. This can also help how they feel about themselves.

You can help them by letting the person help you with everyday tasks such as:

  • shopping
  • laying the table
  • gardening
  • taking the dog for a walk
  • involving them in preparing the meal (if they’re able to)

You can also place memory aids used around the home can help the person remember where things are. For example, you could put labels and signs on cupboards, drawers, and doors.


As the dementia progresses, sometimes mealtimes can become more stressful and can cause anxiety and frustration for the person and their carer(s). Try these tips to make mealtimes more enjoyable and take the pressure off:

  • set aside enough time for meals
  • offer food you know they like, and in smaller portions
  • be prepared for changes in food tastes – try stronger flavours or sweeter foods
  • provide finger foods if the person struggles with cutlery
  • offer fluids in a clear glass or coloured cup that’s easy to hold

We know that everyone will experience caring in their own way, as dementia is a personal journey for those living with it and those who care for them. There will be days when you feel you can cope, and other days when you feel like you can’t do one more day. That’s OK. It’s a normal response to what it means to care for someone, especially a loved one. Many other carers will be feeling these same emotions and it’s very important not to be ashamed about you feel.

It’s why you can reach out to The Alzheimer’s Society, who have dementia advisers who are there to help. You can call them on 0333 150 3456. You can also find local support groups on social media or in your community hubs like a library, as just being able to talk to someone who is going through the same thing as you can help ease some of those emotions.

Don’t think you are a carer yet? Well, you can take a look at the Carer’s Checklist from Age UK which can be found here. It’ll also give you information on support available such as carer’s allowance and how to work with GP surgeries etc.

Plus, we’re also here to help. We can provide you with advice on housing, welfare support and financial support that is out there to ease the burden, even in a small way. Just contact our team at the office.