Tell others how you want to be supported
Many friends and family are well intentioned, but not know how to support people with dementia. It helps everyone if the family member or friend is told how the person with dementia would like support.
Here are some examples:
- “I’m still the same person as before, please talk to me in the same way.”
- “If I’m a little slow or forgetful, please give me time. I’d prefer you don’t correct me, I usually get there at my own speed.”
- “I hope this doesn’t change things. I want to keep bushwalking with the group.”
- “I have trouble with names, so remind me of the names of people we’re going to have dinner with before we arrive.”
- “I need my diary to get organised, so can you please phone me to make plans so I can write it straight into my diary. If you tell me while we’re out, I might forget.”
- “I’m no longer able to drive, so if you could offer me a lift when we go out, I’d really appreciate it.”
Tell others how you don’t want to be supported
Some people with dementia feel that their carers or family are over-protective. They say that others have been doing or do too much for them or taking over.
But, some people with dementia don’t want to say anything because they don’t want to get into an argument, seem ungrateful, or hurt the other person’s feelings.
Some people with dementia decide to talk to their carer or family member about how they feel and what they’d like to still do. Here are some examples:
- “I sometimes feel a little useless because you do so much for me. Can I keep doing the shopping even though I may forget things?”
- “I’ve been thinking about going out for my walk by myself again. I know you like coming along to keep an eye on me in case I get lost, but I’d like to walk by myself sometimes. I can bring my phone and call you if I get lost, but I don’t think I will get lost.”
- “I know that I missed a few appointments, which is why you’re in charge of my calendar now. I feel like I don’t really have a say in the schedule though. Can I also put things into the calendar?”
- “I don’t like it when you talk over me when we’re at the doctor’s. It makes me feel like I don’t have a say in the decision.”
What works for you
Think of what you might want to say to people who have been treating you differently because you have dementia.