The following Do's and Don'ts are taken from Jennifer Ghent-Fuller's excellent article, "Understanding the Dementia Experience," which can be read in full by clicking on the link below. It is a worthwhile read that puts the Do's and Don'ts in their proper perspective.
Direct link: Understanding-the-Dementia-Experience (PDF)
Full site link: Understanding-the-Dementia-Experience - the website.
- Do not reason and argue
- Do not demand that they reason or problem solve
- Do not demand that they remember
- Do not demand that they get their facts straight
- Do not correct their ideas or scold them
- Do not reorient them
- Do not think that they are being uncooperative on purpose
- Do not think that they really do remember, but are pretending not to
- Do not use a “bossy” dictatorial attitude in care
- Do not act with impatience
- Enter into their frame of reality, or their 'world'
- Be aware of their mood or state of mind
- Use few words and simple phrases
- OR use no words, just friendly gestures and simple motions
- Do everything slowly
- Approach from the front
- Wait for a slow response
- Constantly reassure them that everything is 'OK'
- Keep people with dementia comfortable 'in the moment' - every moment
- Maximize use of remaining abilities
- Limit TV or radio programs which they may feel are frighteningly real
- Maintain privacy
- Provide a safe physical environment