The 10 most important things about dementia caregiving


Have more questions and don't know where to turn?

Join our community and get access to monthly support calls, an online chat forum for questions, and even monthly 1:1 calls with Rachael! CLICK HERE for more information.


Are you enjoying my blog posts? Grab a free download of one chapter from my audiobook here and also receive any future helpful tips and posts right to your inbox!

  1. Communicating with people living with dementia can be challenging. Understand that their world may be different from our world, and that’s okay. We want to EMBRACE THEIR REALITY rather than trying to convince them of things that are true in our reality. Just because their reality is a different shape, it doesn’t make it wrong.  
  2. Don’t get hung up on the word, “lying”: realize that if you are telling them the facts of their reality, you are doing the best thing for both of you.
  3. Here are 3 questions you want to use when talking to people with dementia:
    1. “Where do you think they are?” when someone asks you about loved one
    2. “Can you help me?” when getting them to do something with you
    3. “What do you think about this?” when introducing a baby doll or animal
  4. Get to know them on a personal level, and this will help you live in their reality. Ask, “What did you used to like to do?” instead of, “What do you like to do?”
  5. Offer them 2-3 choices instead of asking open-ended questions like, “What do you want to eat for breakfast?” or, “What did you do today?”
  6. TIMELINE CONFUSION is the concept that time isn’t linear in dementia. If the individual cannot identify their loved ones, it isn’t because they don’t know them or love them, it’s because these people don’t fit on their timeline.
  7. Never try to “convince” someone living with dementia of something. Don’t use “logic” to try to help them understand.
  8. No weddings, no funerals, no cemeteries
  9. Not everything is Alzheimer disease! The phrase “Altttttheimer’s and dementia” sounds ridiculous.
  10. Recognize that their timeline and reality may change, and that we can learn to be flexible and change with it. Dementia caregiving is an art form that takes practice and patience to learn.
Liked it? Take a second to support Rachael Wonderlin on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

4 thoughts on “The 10 most important things about dementia caregiving”

  1. What if the person with dementia is cognizant enough and knows for certain their spouse and a child are dead and wants to go to the cemeteries ?

  2. I am checking into a couple memory care places near me for moving Mom from another state. In the 2022 job market what staffing ratio is reasonable to look for? Or what signs of better care?

    (She is not limited by financial need, but not wine and caviar etc personality)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

16 things poster
Get the FREE “16 Things” poster!

You're not alone!

Get personal support from Rachael and connect with other Caregivers when you join our community.

16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia

Get the FREE “16 Things” poster for your personal use—or better yet—your dementia care community’s staff break room!

I wrote this poem years ago, but to date, it’s the most popular piece I’ve ever created.

When you sign up, you’ll also get access to Rachael’s weekly newsletter so that you can get her top tips, links to new content as soon as it’s released, and special offers directly in your inbox! We’ll never sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

16 things poster
Shopping Cart

Have questions?

Book a Dementia Detective
call and talk to a DBD expert!