At first, you might find your friend or relative is able to carry on with their everyday tasks as usual. As their condition progresses, however, they may need help with more and more things.
They may not always be aware when they need more support. Or they might find it difficult to ask for help. Sometimes their dementia may affect their communication skills making it difficult for them to get their point across.
You could try noticing for yourself which tasks they can and can’t do alone. Try to look out for more subtle ways they might communicate their needs. For example, fidgeting or standing up and down a lot could be a sign they need the toilet.
It can be tempting to just step in and do the tasks they are struggling with for them. But it is better to support them to do those tasks themselves as much as they can. This not only keeps up their skills but can also help their self-esteem.
Sometimes people with dementia are physically capable of completing everyday tasks but simply forget they need to be done. You can therefore help them to stay independent by introducing memory aids. For example, if you find they regularly forget to switch off the TV, try sticking a note on the lounge door to remind them. It is worth experimenting with different formats and locations for these aids to see what works best for them.
It can also help to introduce a consistent daily routine. This could include everything from when to eat meals to when to use the toilet. It can help to include visual reminders of this routine too. If times are scheduled in, make sure there are plenty of clocks visible.
For more specific advice about everyday tasks that you might need to help with, take a look at our guides ‘'Helping someone with everyday tasks'. If you are caring for an older person, you may also find the guide 'Caring for someone who is frail and elderly' useful too.