How to support a loved one living with Dementia

In this article, we will explore effective ways to support a loved one living with dementia and ways to maintain your own positive wellbeing.


Watching a loved one navigate life with dementia can be a challenging and emotional journey. As their memory and cognitive abilities decline over time, they rely on the support and understanding of family and friends more than ever. Providing this support with empathy and compassion can greatly enhance their quality of life and overall well-being.

  1. Educate Yourself

The first step in supporting someone with dementia is to educate yourself about the condition. Understanding the symptoms, progression, and challenges associated with dementia will enable you to provide informed care. Read books, articles, and reputable online resources, attend support groups, and consult healthcare professionals. This knowledge will empower you to make better decisions and adapt your approach to their changing needs. At Bluebird Care, we can provide interactive training to families, health professionals and members of the public to help raise awareness of the challenges of living with dementia and ways to best support people living with the disease. Find out more about the Virtual Dementia Experience here.

  1. Foster Communication

Communication plays a vital role in maintaining a connection with a loved one living with dementia. As the condition progresses, they may experience difficulty expressing themselves or understanding others. To facilitate effective communication:

a) Use simple language and short sentences, speaking slowly and clearly.

b) Maintain eye contact and use non-verbal cues, such as gentle touch, to convey warmth and reassurance.

c) Be patient and allow your loved one ample time to respond, without rushing or interrupting.

d) Listen attentively and validate their emotions, even if their words are unclear or disjointed.

e) Avoid arguing or correcting them if they become confused or delusional. Instead, provide reassurance and redirection to a pleasant topic.

f) If your loved one can no longer recognise you, this can be upsetting. However it’s important to understand that this is not personal or intentional and rather than consistently remind them who you are, you could say something like, “My name is Sarah and I’m someone who loves you”.


  1. Create a Safe and Supportive Environment

Modifying the physical environment can significantly enhance the safety and well-being of a loved one with dementia:

a) Remove hazards, such as loose rugs or furniture that obstructs pathways.

b) Install handrails, grab bars, and adequate lighting to prevent falls.

c) Label important areas, such as the bathroom and bedroom, with clear signs or pictures.

d) Use colour contrast and clear signage to help them navigate and locate objects easily.

e) Simplify their living space by reducing clutter, which can confuse and overwhelm them.

  1. Establish Routines and Familiarity

People living with dementia often find comfort in routines and familiarity. Establishing a consistent daily schedule can help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of stability. Stick to regular meal times, exercise routines, and activities they enjoy. Create a visual calendar or checklist to help them understand and anticipate daily activities. Familiar objects, photographs, and mementos can also serve as reminders of cherished memories.

  1. Encourage Independence and Engagement

While dementia eventually diminishes cognitive abilities, it is essential to encourage independence and engagement in meaningful activities. People can live full and happy lives with a diagnosis of dementia. Provide them with opportunities to participate in simple tasks, such as setting the table or folding laundry. Engage in activities they enjoy, such as listening to music, painting, or taking short walks together. Stimulating their senses through sensory activities like aromatherapy or gentle touch can also evoke positive emotions.

  1. Seek Support for Yourself

Supporting a loved one with dementia can be emotionally demanding. Its crucial to take care of your own well-being to avoid burnout:

a) Reach out to support groups or counselling services specifically designed for caregivers of individuals with dementia. Carers Leeds offer a great many support groups each month, learn more here.

b) Take breaks and ask for help from family members or friends to ensure you have time for self-care.

c) Maintain social connections and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

d) Seek respite care or professional assistance from Bluebird Care, to provide regular or temporary relief and ensure your loved one receives high quality care.


Supporting a loved one living with dementia requires patience, empathy, and understanding. By educating yourself, fostering effective communication, creating a safe environment, establishing routines, and encouraging engagement, you can enhance their quality of life and preserve your connection. Remember to seek support for yourself as well, as you navigate this challenging journey together.

At Bluebird Care, we work with individuals and their families to provide holistic support through our home care and live in care services. Together, we can provide the love and care your loved ones deserve as they face the challenges of dementia.

Contact us for an informal chat about how Bluebird Care Leeds North can support you and your loved ones. 

How to find the right care for you or your relative

1. Find your local office

Bluebird Care delivers care from locally based offices, find yours to start your care journey today.

2. Get in touch with us

Fill in our call back form or give us a call to find out how we can help you.

3. Assessment

We’ll come out to you to find out what you or your loved one needs to help stay independent at home.

4. Care team chosen & care starts

You'll be cared for by our specially trained team to support you to remain at home for as long as possible.

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