How to cheer up someone who has dementia?

My mam has dementia she's only 66 years young. She is like the queen of the family she has 4 sons & 5 daughters we are close family. She's at the point where she's lost her appetite,lost weight,sleep all day long, she lost her appearance. shes still alert and still know who we are. But just so quite & staring into space all the time. All of our heart breaks just watching her like this.

Just wondering would anyone have advice on what to do to cheer her up any ideas to help her along the way to make her feel some with comfort & any ideas of presents or somethings we could do for her like memories ect… We also have a special needs sister who is attached to my mam so nearly anything my mam do she would do & my mam worries about her all the time aswell she’s in her 30s. We have no careers for them. They both live together with my baby brother. & we lost our dad 8years ago.

So any tips, advice, entitlements, would be so grateful.

We have nurses call out couple of times who is keeping track on my mams dementia but the last visit was her telling us she’s really going down hill fast. It’s just heartbreaking feeling hopeless & alot of emotions hard to take on board.


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to cheer up someone who has dementia?

I did home health care for a whwhile. Stopped because I became too attached. One thing that I use to do, I know might sound crazy, was I’d have her help me fold washcloths and towels. Even if they were all folded and put away, I’d pull em out and disarray em. She really liked it. It’d make her feel like she was helping. And at times, it’d help to distract her when she would ask about family but they had passed away. And instead of rehashing the pain, we’d say they were traveling but loved her and have her help fold towels.


66 is very young for this to be happening.

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I’ve seen videos of baby dolls making them very happy puts them back to when they had baby’s

Have her evaluated for depression. It is common among elders, and is treatable.

Prayers for you, your family, & your mother. Just be there for her the best you can. My mom is a little younger than her by 6 years. My mom has the start of dementia. Its horrible to go through & i can’t imagine my mother getting worse. Sending prayers. :yellow_heart:

All of the above. I also work in aged care and we do social support services which can include going out for coffee getting nails done, seeing a movie etc or entertainment at home… Coffee and a chat watch a movie play her favourite game a hand massage anything to keep her happy occupied and keep her mind thinking.

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Sometimes residents come in or are given a baby doll & or a stuffed animal…
Some patients thought the baby’s or stuffed cats :cat2: were real, to the them maybe they were…
Anyways the will & drive it would give some patients to kno they still had something to take care of.
& Music , especially anything from her prime days :relieved:

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Help her feel useful. Give her a sense of purpose with small tasks she can have reminders for. Give her something enriching to learn based on her interests. Let her listen to music or books on tape.

Jesus! I know your pain my mom has the same, all you can do is pray :palms_up_together:t5: for her, get much help as you can and keep her busy. This is a lot and I keep you in my prayers also , I wish I can give you more advice but I’m learning myself my mom is in the beginning stage. I wish you well on that.

When my father was declining from Alzheimer we would bring out the old photo albums. It helped him remember good times. Old music :notes: also helped him to remember the past and the things he did. Praying you all find Peace in this journey.

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Have you tried a baby doll? My ex partners grandfather was in a nursing home with other elders that had dementia and they loved anything baby, many of them had baby dolls they would carry around with them xx

Baby dolls and they have robot type animals. In The nursing home i worked in, there was this one lady who her daughter bought her a dog thay barked and walked and she was so excited and believed it was real. It was adorable and the same with baby dolls. Regular dolls or they have those reborn dolls as well

Painting and music also

Music, games, nice walks out. Those all help dementia patients. Keeping their mind and body active helps. It’ll help you guys too because that’s more time spent with mom. More happy memories even in a sad time.

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My mom has early signs of dementia too. She had a few moments staring into space… talking about the past like it was yesterday but forgetting current things. The docs changed her meds again and she seems to be doing a lot better, she’s happier … she loves her lifetime movies and shows and just talking. All I can say is just be there… talk, laugh and joke as much as possible … bring up the past as much as possible. You’d be surprised how well they remember their younger years and love talking about it. :heart:


Recreate videos of when you guys (kids) we’re younger. Maybe like a slide show of pictures with her favorite music playing.

Pictures of her and your dad. Her siblings. Favorite things she loved doing. Her best recipes and have a mom & son/daughter cooking day.

Maybe frame like her quotes/ sayings and just have them everywhere in the house so she can still feel her self.

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Baby dolls, photo albums w pics …older pics better


Bring flowers or Chocolate. Watch a movie with her. Just be in same room and read or crochet. Pray with her and put music on❤️

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Hugs first of all
Please get as much help as you can afford someone to help clean in house and get your mum shopping this way Yiu can spend quality time with your mum without worrying about those appointments for your special needs sister look for residential home it’s not what you would have wanted but it’s important she be settled

Paint her nails get her pedicure and massage if you can afford it Gussy her all women are beautiful she needs reminding wirked in my case one thing a week can make huge difference God bless you and good luck

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Try a fiddle lap blanket or a baby doll and also try to engage her in activities she likes


Baby dolls. Also music and if able dance with her holding her hand. Do her hair and nails. Have her fold stuff, wash rags dish towels etc. Matching memory cards or playing with a deck of cards and let her match all the cards.


maybe walks to places she knows crafts she did or crocheting knitting if she did that before

A fidget blanket might help too

Take them to see old movies and plays whose plot they might remember, get videos of old TV shows, radio show recordings or old newsreels of things your mom liked in happier times. The oldest memories last the longest. Hearing is the last thing to go, so even when it looks like she’s in a coma, talk to her and play music.

Take them out to dance concerts, music performances, walks in parks, go to familiar restaurants or ones with familiar food. If up to it, go to a carnival & ride the rides—even the slightly scary ones as long as everyone is safely strapped in. Go to zoos and museums. Even if your mom is confined to a wheelchair most places are accessible, and many now have family bathrooms which make things easier.

Play kids games and put together puzzles that are easy enough for them to complete. Sing songs they might remember. Often if they went to church or another religious institution, there might be comfort in the ritual of going to services. Even if they didn’t, you can start going as people are generally friendly and helpful and you can have some help. Plus, there’s usually some great music to enjoy. If COVID means you have to watch services online for now, so be it, but that also means you can access any online service anywhere in the world.

Make a big calendar, post it someplace visible and do things on a consistent basis. My dad had dementia but was able to follow a schedule by looking at his watch. For example, Mondays we go to a museum, Tuesdays we walk outside or in a shopping mall, Wednesdays is shower, fix hair and paint nails day, Thursdays are phone calls and visits with friends, Fridays are dinners out when we dress up, Saturdays we go boating, or swim (or walk, or paddle) in an indoor pool. Sundays we go to church or the movies.

Get a gym membership and go exercise. Riding stationery bikes together or using machines to lift light weights is good for everyone and can be easily learned. You can get gym staff to help you decide what’s safe, doable and helpful for you all. I love “Tai Chi Ch’ih: Joy Through Movement” on You Tube. It’s an easy and repetitive form of movement meditation that helps mind and body and is great for balance and overall health. You don’t need a lot of space or any equipment and It can be done in a chair if needed. Put on music and dance freestyle. Play patty-cake and perk-a-boo and head, shoulders, knees and toes. Watch TV shows designed for kids at whatever intellectual level your mom and/or sister are at. Be prepared to abandon and switch plans if things aren’t working.

Be as agreeable and cheerful as you can even if mom’s not making much sense. Just like with a toddler, you may have to work with distractions. Sweets always got my dad’s attention!

Go to an animal shelter and hang out with the animals. Go to a playground and watch the kids. Go to a school sports event and watch the game/competition. You can pretend it’s over at half time if attention is flagging.

Take a painting class and slap paint on canvases, or a flower arranging class, or whatever. Talk to the teacher/s beforehand about your mother and sisters’ limitations. Join a mall walking group or a seated yoga class. Give her something social to look forward to where she will feel like she accomplished something. I used to take my dad to my dance company rehearsals. He was deaf, but he could follow the movements and I’d get him stuff to eat for dinner to keep him occupied. The women would all smile at him and it was familiar every week. When he finally went to a performance with makeup, lighting and costumes, he was thrilled because he was familiar with all the dances.

Read together as much as everyone is able. My dad went from reading the whole newspaper to reading a bit of articles, to reading headlines, to reading shorter and shorter notes to looking at pictures.

We used to “read” old photo albums, and my dad would remember happy times, or eventually just be delighted he could recognize himself in the photos; “that’s me!”

See if your mom’s doctor could prescribe some antidepressants for your mom if she’s depressed and giving up. Be aware that it takes about a month for anything to kick in and it usually takes a lot of trial and error to get the right prescription and dosage, but it does help. You might want to ask about some for yourself if you’re despairing.

Everyone enjoys sensual things. Manicures and pedicures, massages (full body, feet, hands, shoulders, sitting in a massage chair in a shopping mall), scented sprays for body or home, scented lotions, facials, back scratches, bath fizzies or nice soaps, pretty candles if it’s not a hazard, etc. Have her touch different textures, smell different herbs, listen to different sounds.

Give her things to do to feel helpful: have her fold washcloths, towels, pillowcases for laundry, or hand her clothing to put in the washer, or have her take the clothes out of the dryer. Have her help in the kitchen, pouring measured liquids in bowls, putting cookies in a jar or tin, shaking sprinkles on a birthday cake, adding ingredients to a pot or pan, drying silverware or other unbreakable items, putting silverware in a drawer, setting the table or handing out napkins, whatever she’s capable of doing. If she does things all wrong, just fix it when she can’t see it. My dad would happily fold stacks of washcloths at his nursing home for an hour. You can use the same ones over and over.

Not sure where you are, but see if there are day care programs for seniors with craft activities and more to occupy them where you can leave your mom (and maybe your sister) for a fee. Check with local nursing home programs where you may be able to pay for her to join activities if there are spots available.

Don’t neglect yourself! Look into respite care and be sure you have time for fun with friends too. Think of things you’d enjoy when taking your mom and sister: manicures, the zoo, a football game, a play—whatever you would enjoy also. Develop your “village” of people who can help out from neighbors to church members, to people from the gym or classes. Sometimes just having someone to keep an eye on your loved ones so you can pee is a blessing. You will not regret spending the time you have left with your mom. It’s heartbreaking but also has many shining moments. Even when my dad didn’t know who I was, he was happy to see me.

My heart goes out to you. If you believe in heaven, you have already earned your place there. Bless you and keep reaching out. If I lived near you I’d come help.

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Music from the era when she was young. I’ll bet she’ll enjoy listening to it.


I used to go on walks with my mum talked about the old days made her laugh as much as possible x

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Maybe some girly pamper time, walks out, fruit picking or something you can do together that she may have once loved when she was young. Maybe get her a new makeup set, do her hair up and ask how she would like it done. Xx most if all good luck xxx


Dolls , teddy dogs or cats , photos x

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Music, old television shows, newspapers if she likes to read, old photos, talk about memories with her, puzzles (of appropriate size for her stage of dementia), forms of art, such as painting, colouring, etc. Fix her hair for her, put jewelry on her, take her to get her hair done etc. She may not remember how to do these daily tasks of living, the staring into space would indicate that to me. Give her very short directions when prompting her. Short direct directions work best.
Instead of “mom, could you go into the bathroom and wash your face and brush your teeth” … break it down…
mom, go into the bathroom. Once completed, mom can you wash your face. After that’s completed. Okay now brush your teeth.

Complex directions are difficult for people with dementia. If you follow that simple directions method, it should be easier to prompt her to do mainly any task she needs to :slightly_smiling_face:
Good luck. I work in a nursing home, so I work with dementia patients every day.


Music is a huge thing for people with dementia. They might not always be “present” but certain music will always make them smile. God bless.


On no. So sorry. My mom went through this. It’s hard. They get to a point where they can no longer swallow. There’s nothing you can do besides being there. My mom passed about 30 days after she could no longer swallow. Prayers :heart:

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I gonna talk to my one sister later on and will write down a list for you. She works in a retirement home doing the daily activities with dementia and alzheimer patients :blush::heart:

Make a memory box/book. If you have old photos of her parents, sisters brothers. Old friends. Places she worked, danced as a young girl before she married. We did that because the memories from way back come to the forefront and at times they believe they are still in that time. It worked for us and we had/have some great laughs going over the memories (again & again) But it great to see them happy. Best of Luck

Find her favorite outfit do her nails and make up show her her beauty

Find what music she used to listen to and make a playlist. Remind her of your families stories like from your childhood. Do her Hair and nails. Show lots of pictures. I can’t imagine. Sending Love to you all :heart::heart::heart:

Honestly, it sounds like her medication is off. Thr right balance can make a huge difference. No other external things will matter if the chemical balance is off in her body. Sending positive thoughts for all of you.

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If she is sleeping all day look into sun downing…some with dementia develop it and then sleep during the day and not as much at night. Also does she stay home alot? If so going for joy rides might lift her spirits. Take her out visiting, to see friends maybe she hasn’t been able to see in awhile.

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Reaching out to Alzheimer’s support group might offer support for you and your family in coping with this disease that steals our loved one from us.
It actually sounds as if you are doing many wonderful things to provide safety and care for your Mom. A large caring involved family is a blessing. You are there for Your Mom and one another…even so, the nurse may be trying to prepare for the time when your Mom needs to live in a secured and routine environment where lighting,music,activity,meds,meals and outdoor courtyard, sleep and all the routine activities of daily living are assisted…When this time comes, it is both heartwrenching and a blessing. It permits all of you to be present to with your Mom as her adult children and not so much as caretakers.

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I work with the elderly, and dementia care is one of the things we offer. An important thing is routine…if you can afford to get a companion in there to help her I would. Things like getting up at a certain time, bathing, dressing, eating all at a certain time, helps. Then there is brain stimuli, it looks different for every person, I would consult her Dr. And if they are the type who is just like “there’s nothing you can do” find a new dr. Is it curable? No. Are there ways to improve and prolong life in a healthy and dignified manner, yes. I would def reach out to a support group as well.

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Your Mother might enjoy and connect best with things from her past and your childhood. I know how much you want to share your lives with her.
I realized some of my best time spent was meeting my mom where she was. Sometimes, just listening to favorite music,sharing or reminding her of something you did together as a family…or individually…One day at a time.Godspeed!

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to cheer up someone who has dementia?

Send me a pm!! It’s really late here but i have lots of ideas when I’m well rested.

Play her favorite song, talk to her about the past, the funny moments you had when you were younger

I would try to cook her her favorite meals. Making comfort food might help her appetite. Try and do activities with her…like what kind of hobbies she was always into. Maybe sit down and scrap book with her…like get her favorite pictures of all her kids and make something fun with it. Just give her as much love and attention as possible. Maybe offer girls days with her as well. Like offer to fix up her hair how she likes it. Sit and watch her favorite movies and shows with her. Hope this helps.

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I’m so sorry to hear that, I have a grandmother who had dementia before she recently passed and the key was routine. Anything she did for she had dementia helped so much. God bless

If she played any instruments, patients with dementia lose their short term memory. Alot of things they learned like music etc. from their childhood is most likely still intact. Maybe her favorite songs. Sundowning is the worst at night for some reason. They seem to get aggravated easy. Repeat,repeat,repeat she may ask you the same questions over and over. Always answer them truthfully it will help avoid her being aggravated because you don’t know what she still knows. Have patience she may become combative but she doesn’t understand what she doing. Love alot of love goes a long way. It will be hard but she’s your mom and she’s worth it.

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My mom has dementia. She still thinks my dad is alive. We tried the whole being truthful with her and it seemed to make her deteriorate faster. So now, we just tell her he’s out with the boys playing poker, winning u shopping money. The woman lights up like a Christmas tree. So we are sending her flowers now with written love notes from “dad” I write just like him. We are experiencing violence if she sees her reflection in a mirror or glass so we had to tape them up. I can’t think of the name right off but she is on a medicine that slows the process down and it seems to be helping. Message me if you’d like and I’ll send u the name of it.

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Music , brings back memories show her pictures and talk about them. Hope it helps🙏


Just stick to the same routine and just sit there with her. She just need to know she’s not alone. I had great grandparents with Alzheimer’s and my pop had dementia for 5 years before he passed … he just stuck to routine and talk about the history as if it happened today.

I also work with residents who has dementia and same thing, routine, and just encouraging them, sitting there letting them talk or vent if need be …

I would ask her doctor about ensure, that’s what they told us to give my gma when she went through a stage where she didn’t want food. As far as things to cheer her up you could try to do things she use to love and see if that works, It’s really hard with dementia since it’s an up and down rollercoaster. We usually offer things that we know a child would like such as candy, ice cream, cookies, music, going outside, talk about things that we know was a good memory.


Music can be great for those with dementia as it can trigger memories or even just a feeling of happiness. Play her favourite music and sing n dance round with her

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Just go with the flow… never correct them… it’s they’re belief and that’s ok. My two sister and me were our moms caretakers and I would have trade that time for the world. It had its difficult moments, but didn’t experience the violent side of it. She passed of respiratory failure… it happens because of their illness😢

Do a memory book of all the places shes been and pics of familty. Writing underneath. Where and who they are x


Make a photo album with her let her pick out the picture she wants in it . If she can’t do perhaps you come do it . Good luck . Bless you . :butterfly::+1:

I found this helpful. My heart goes out to you.


Read something about playing music that was popular when patients were teenagers seems to help sometimes.

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So sorry to hear this I worked with people that had dementia and we gave one lady a doll she loved it so much and treated it like her baby x🙏

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Definitely music from her era. Motown maybe or whatever genre. I took care of my MIL after a stroke. For 8 years before she passed. She had dementia from that point forward. The best thing is to keep her doing things. Things of repetition. She liked the computer so we had her on it all the time in the beginning. But she started leaving the house…not knowing we would discover it and have to go looking the neighborhood. Beware of that. Rides to familiar places. Friends over. Good thoughts to you. I will think about you because it is a big responsibility. Message me anytime xoxo watch for times of anger and frustration and don’t take it personally.

Ive not had any personal experience of this but I’ve heard and seen videos about giving ladies with dementia a baby doll. The more life like the better! If she’s had so many children I’m guessing she likes babies, I read it’s something about maternal instincts kicking in.

They say baby dolls bring joy and happiness to people with dementia x

A baby doll or stuffed teddy ?? Try that!
Also if they are not on a restricted diet. Try her absolute FAVORITE food!
My grandmother has got to the point the only thing she can or will eat is a ham sandwich🤷🏻‍♀️ it’s not the best. But she’s eating. She will also drink an ENSURE we mix it with ice cream to make a Milkshake! You could try that

I’ve heard dolls can be an amazing addition for a dementia patient and any kind of music your Mum grew up with and loved

I would look into heavy metal detox for dimentia. Tintures probably. Definitely worth researching. She is way way to young. Wishing you all the very best.:heart:

I was a care provider for my grandmother who also had dementia take her outside for walks do things she used to love play music or even just watch old shows she liked there’s really no way to stop her from progressing all you can do is remind her of her old life before dementia thats what kept my grandmother going till the day she died

I was just going to suggest this

Take her to a park. Watch children play!

Try playing her favorite music.

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If CBd is legal in your area I highly recommend!!! It will help in alot of areas like appetite. Comfort. Joy. Relaxation.

Music is great. When I work with people with dementia I always just reassure. Reorienting can be tricky because you don’t want to pressure or get frustrated with her. There are support groups around… Connect with others for your self, its so hard to watch. Worse if youre in the middle of it.

From someone that works in this industry, i highly recommended family time, day trips. Take her out to lunch help her cook if she likes cooking. A memory book will upset her as she can’t remember the event or the people in it, it’ll be like looking at strangers, music does help some vut not a lot, if she likes being busy and gardening help with a garden. This is an awful disease and unfortunately this is the worst part off it, watching her go down hill and it getting worse. I admire you for taking the time and putting the effort in to make her happy. If you have ant questions or want advice i am more then happy to help the best i can

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Painting is a way of joy with no rules. Stay strong, they don’t realize everything is going bad sometimes just reading a poem or book really changes that day there and now :heart:

Adult daycare for socializing they may be able to accommodate your sister too…if not could sister go to ARC or Easter Seals program?

I was a CNA for 15 years working with Alzheimers. A doll would be a wonderful thing to try. We always had soft music playing. I noticed the residents Always ate desserts first so maybe try something sweet she enjoys. I’m sure she dont taste things the same way. Just keep giving her all your love!

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Music low music gospel was my mom’s favorite it soothed her , brush her hair talk softly to her and get her a baby doll soft body if you can wrap it in a receiving blanket to comfort her my mom thought it was a real baby it was her comfort best of luck I miss my mom soooo much I’d love just one day to look at her kiss her cheek and tell her I love her, this Disease is so horrible prayers to you all , it’s too much for just one to handle my two sisters and I shared it taking turns with mom she got to where she would smile a little when I walked in she didn’t know who I was just that I belonged to her someway. Theirs just so many stages to this and have a lot of patients with her again God’s love to you all💔

A baby doll helped my much. And music therapy

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to cheer up someone who has dementia?

Maybe she would like to listen books and music.


A doll that doesn’t make any noise at all but looks like a baby I’ve seen other lady’s get them and had amazing reactions to them and any music from when she grew up ud be amazed how anyone with dementia can remember the words to songs they grew up listening to and how much happiness it can bring them and I’m sending u a massive hug cause this is all so hard to deal with my grandad when he was alive got dementia and my dad has it now

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Please try to reach out to a dementia group near where she lives. It’s worthwhile to place her into a group meeting place everyday with others that have it too. She would go for up to several hours during the day. I’m pretty sure she would also qualify for respite care. Hope that helps, these patients have been my life calling.:heart:

Go for a walk in the park, talk and laugh, then dance! Do what children do …. laugh, explore, play, sing and dance! She needs happy, energetic people around her


Fidget blankets, dolls n her favorite music , magazines n reading to her n church related things if she’s religious. Soft blankets n favorite fragrances , her favorite foods n drinks !! Family photos also !!

Many dementia patients like baby dolls they can rock and talk to. Old music she used to listen to when she was younger would help with her memory and old picture albums of family members and get her to tell you who the people are in the old pictures! Hopefully these things will help her remember things about her past.


Depression makes dementia progress faster. Please keep and eye out for that. We just went thru this. Whatever your mom likes make sure she enjoys that. If she can still walk take her outside. While she remembers have her tell you her stories and record them. If she enjoys baking get her in the kitchen make sure she working her brain to keep it active there is medicine she can take to slow it down but it won’t reverse the damage

A baby doll she can treat like a real baby, a “life like” stuffed dog or cat, and doing chores like folding towels/wash cloths and socks. If getting up at bedtime is an issue, turn the air down real low and get her a nice blanket. That works all the time in my unit.


I had a lady that had dementia age 45 and we listened to classic rock and danced,showers were difficult but we played soft music and told her step by step what we were doing

I had a dementia patient at one time and sat thru a class where I learned that when their mind gets lost, and they tell you something such as, “did you see that wasp?” , not to go against it because they’re already confused enough… i recommend one of those classes as they were real helpful. My patient forgot how to eat, pee, who some of us were, however I could take my newborn gdaughter over and it was like mothers instinct or something…it absolutely made her day…maybe a baby doll would help get that effect… she liked reading… always remember to try to include her with your day to day and pictures and stories always helped too…I would buy her gifts like clothes, blankets, plants… whatever it is that she seemed to like… I know it’s heart breaking and my heart aches for you and your family…Good Luck❣

I’ve heard that sometimes it helps to give them a doll with my gma I used to make her favorite foods or watch her favorite shows

I am a retired cna and worked with dementia,we tried to focus on their world, play her favorite music,try to figure out what it’s like for her,I would focus on trying to get them active,we had a basket of socks and asked her to match them and that kept her occupied,show pictures or read from her favorite book,let her talk to you even if it doesn’t make sense to you,have her help in the kitchen just little stuff

A lot of dementia patients respond to pets. Women respond to baby dolls. Set a basket of towels next to her, they sometimes like “busy” work.

Ghee butter every day with plenty of soft yolk eggs. Plus all 90 minerals daily. While preventing none of the 12 bad foods. No gluten at all either. Maxims intestinal absorption is the most important! Give her brain a chance to build up.


Ask her to tell you stories…
Even if its stories you heard a thousand times.
Ask questions… what was it like when you went to school. What games dod you play. Who is your best friend… favorite food…
Ask about her mom ,dad brothers sister.

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if she tells you that she sees cats or whatever pretend to move them away just get in her world,if she is a wanderer put a black carpet ,we used black tape strips they think it’s a hole etc

Dolls are an excellent,we used them and bottles for her to feed them

Maybe get some photo albums and show her some pictures and ask her about them.

Take her to a neurologist. There is medicine that delays the progress.

Rosemary is supposed to help, it’s scent is good for the brain