Rachel, my husband is in early stages of dementia and he has heard the diagnosis that he has dementia, but does not remember that now. is this something that I should bring up in a discussion and try to explain to him or just let it go? He also is not brushing his teeth daily and not bathing as often as he should. How do I address this? Mary Pedersen

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Hi Mary, I would definitely not tell him that he has dementia. Since he doesn’t remember, it’s best to just let it go—you’ll both be happier in the long run! The teeth brushing and bathing problem is a common one with dementia. I think the first thing that you need to do is get him in a routine. When did he usually brush his teeth? What time of day did he usually bathe? Use what you already know about him to create a schedule that works for both of you.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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