Everyday Tasks with Dementia

For people with dementia, everyday tasks can become troublesome or even insurmountable. Some of the ways that tasks might cause bother include:

  • Forgetting what order to do things (i.e. the order that clothes should be put on)
  • Not remembering when things have already been done, so doing them again
  • Not making connections (i.e. hearing the phone ring but not answering it)
  • Forgetting to do regular tasks
  • Not realising what objects are for (i.e. that a toothbrush is for brushing teeth)
  • Forgetting how to do tasks 
Home Care, Caregivers, Dementia Support, Dementia Care, Dementia

Because these tasks can seem simple and might have been done by the person with dementia for their entire life, the loss of ability can feel embarrassing and frustrating. As a result, some people may try to hide their difficulty. 

Some strategies that can help:

  • Create routines and make use of a whiteboard or sticky notes for reminders
  • Simplify tasks – for example, clothing with zips and velcro to replace laces and buttons and storing clothes in the order that they are put on
  • Remove clutter so that the objects required for everyday tasks are accessible and obvious
  • Keep notes about important conversations and tasks that have been completed – crossing things off once they are no longer relevant

For more information and resources about dementia go to: www.dementia.org.au

A carer can help put routines and reminders in place with sensitivity, while quietly picking up any tasks that might have fallen off the radar.
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