Published on: 20th May 2019


Dementia is a decline in mental ability caused by changes and damage to the brain over time. It can alter the way you speak, think, feel and behave, often making it difficult to carry out daily tasks.

Sadly one in 14 of us over 65 will develop one form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, or dementia with Lewy bodies.

Memory loss is a common symptom which can be worrying, upsetting and frustrating to people with dementia and their loved ones.

Ahead of Dementia Action Week (20 to 26 May 2019), we’ve pulled together some information to support your loved one to remain as independent as possible.

Losing items

Your loved one may regularly forget where they’ve put things, lose them, or put them in unusual places.

  • Have a set place for commonly used items, which is easily visible
  • Use pictures to show what goes in each cupboard or drawer
  • Get copies of important items and documents
  • Keep rooms, surfaces and drawers tidy
  • Look into locator devices, such as a key finder
Forgetting appointments, anniversaries and events
  • Stick with how they’ve remembered things in the past, such as diaries or calendars
  • Use a prominent noticeboard to display appointment cards and messages
  • Set reminders on their mobile phone
  • Ask for text message or email reminders about appointments
Getting lost
  • Your loved one might forget where they’re going and why, or get lost in familiar places.
  • Make sure they have ID and contact numbers on them
  • Tell trusted neighbours or local shop keepers about the problems they might have, so they can keep an eye out
  • Consider GPS devices or mobile phone apps that can be used to locate them if needed
  • Submit key information about your loved one to the Greater Manchester Police website, under the Herbert Protocol, in case they go missing
Recognising faces and people
  • As dementia progresses, it can become more difficult for your loved one to recognise family, friends, or even their own reflection.
  • Try to give clues about their relationship with others in the conversation
  • Create a picture book of family and friends
  • Offer reassurance if they don’t recognise people
  • Focus on how they respond to you and try not to be offended or upset if they don’t remember
Forgetting where they live
  • People with dementia can sometimes forget their address, or get confused with somewhere they used to live.
  • Have familiar items and ornaments on show in the home and garden
  • Put reminders of the address around the house and on the front door
  • Talk to them about where they used to live to help them place it in the past
Support with daily tasks
  • Make tasks easier by putting out everything they’ll need, or breaking them down into smaller steps
  • Leave simple instructions next to appliances as a reminder
  • Look at equipment or technology that can be used to help

More information on supporting someone with memory loss is available at: