How to support someone to live well with dementia

Fran Vandelli
Dementia Lead for Bupa Care Services Richmond Villages
12 January 2023
Next review due January 2026

Having dementia can make life hard. But there’s good evidence to show that staying active, sociable, and engaged in life can help. Doing this may reduce the impact dementia has on someone’s quality of life. Here, I’ll explore how you can support someone with dementia to enjoy their life more.

two older women having a laugh in the pool

How can you support someone to live well with dementia?

There are a number of ways you can support someone to live well with dementia. Helping someone to enjoy their life more may be easier once the basics are covered. This means making sure they are coping well in their day-to-day life. And that they are as physically and mentally healthy as possible.

Supporting someone with dementia to improve their physical and mental health is important. This is because being well can improve their quality of life. It may even reduce the severity of some of their symptoms.

Here are some practical ways to help someone with dementia live well.

  • Make sure they have access to, and remember to eat, nutritious and appealing food.
  • Ensure they stay hydrated, as this can help with memory and mood.
  • Support them to get physical movement and stay active in enjoyable ways.
  • Help them to access local support groups, medical appointments, and other relevant services.
  • Support them to set up their home in a dementia-friendly way.
  • Prepare reminders for taking any medication they may need.
  • Ensure they can access mental health support if needed.

You can also support someone with dementia by helping them stay engaged in life and enjoy a variety of activities.

Benefits of staying active and engaged with dementia

Feeling confident and independent can be harder if someone has dementia. But staying engaged in life can promote independence and confidence and can affect many other areas of their wellbeing.

Staying social and active can improve someone’s physical health and mental wellbeing. And socialising regularly may also improve memory in older adults, including those living with dementia.

How to help someone with dementia stay engaged in life

The aim is to help someone with dementia to enjoy things that are meaningful to them. For some people, this might be doing physical activities such as swimming or walking. For others it could be arts and crafts.

Helping someone with dementia to do a range of physical and mental activities is a good idea. This is because brain-focused activities can help with cognition and memory. And physical activities can improve mood and general health.

Below are some ideas for how you could help.

  • You could support someone to do their favourite hobbies. This could include crafting or reading. Many activities can be adapted to be dementia-friendly. And sometimes a little help can make a big difference. Try to encourage someone with dementia to do their hobbies independently as this can build their confidence. To do this, you could help someone to find reading aids, or simplify crafting instructions for them.
  • You could help someone find and attend group activities designed for people with dementia. This means they can socialise too, which is a great way to increase someone’s wellbeing. There are a number of different activities available, from seated exercises to dementia-friendly cinema trips.
  • See what is available in your area – you may be able to find reminiscence groups, lunch clubs, or day care programs with a range of activities. The Alzheimer’s Society has a dementia directory, which may be useful to find support near you. Why not try their handy activity finder?

Here at Bupa we understand how important your family is. So with our family health insurance you can rest assured knowing that eligible treatment and support is available to you and your loved ones when you need it.

Fran Vandelli
Fran Vandelli (she/her)
Dementia Lead for Bupa Care Services Richmond Villages

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