7 Things You Can Do Right Now For Someone Living With Dementia

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Living with Dementia

By Erica Curcio, LMHC, ATR

It’s no secret that the care-taking process isn’t an easy one. Though it has its moments of reward – a breakthrough on a good day, a connection after days of disconnect – it is also frustrating, for both the care partner and the patient. Small acts, however, can go a long way in easing frustration.

Here are seven things you can do right now for someone who lives with dementia, from a Registered Art Therapist who specializes in working with clients living with dementia.

1. Validate

We want to affirm the reality of the person living with dementia. Their brain is not working like a typical brain. There is a disease that is attacking it – meaning they might see things or tell stories that aren’t quite accurate, but that is what they perceive to be true.

Instead of denying and trying to change their mind (which you won’t), just agree. Whatever a client tells me in session, I believe to be true in session. If they say they had twelve children, but only really had two, I agree. What good does it do to deny a person their beliefs? All that would do is potentially make them angry, and not feel good about themselves. No one wants to live in that reality!

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(reprinted with permission from the author)

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