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Understanding dementia

Understanding dementia

The Good Care Group have created a guide to help people understand dementia and how to help people who are suffering with the symptoms.


If a family member, loved one or friend is suffering from the effects of dementia, it can be difficult to help each other and communicate in the right way. The first step in build a better relationship is understanding that dementia is a collection of syndromes resulting from damage to the brain and Alzheimer is the most common type. It can affect memory, thinking speed, mental agility, understand and judgement.

Although, the symptoms are common amongst most people suffering with dementia, the progression of these symptoms varies widely depending on the type of dementia and the health and lifestyle of the individual.

The Good Care Group‘s guide to dementia highlights important issues to consider including:

  • How hard it becomes for sufferers to store new factual information, they will often search for older factual memories to help make sense of their current situation. 

  • How to adapt to a ‘person-first-approach’. By looking through old photos, listening to familiar music and visiting memorable places may help maintain a better relationship between the family and patient. This can also help put a patient at ease when they reminisce over happier memories. 

  • Avoiding asking direct questions, which can cause great anxiety when the patient doesn’t know the answer.

  • Listening to the individual who is suffering to understand how they are feeling from their perspective, rather than telling them how they should be feeling.

Christine Bryden, was diagnosed at age 46 with Alzheimer's Disease; "As we become more emotional and less cognitive, it's the way you talk to us, not what you say, that we remember".

Access the full guide to understanding dementia here.