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Dementia issues


Registered User
Nov 20, 2015
I'm new here and need some help. I spend several hours a day with a neighbor who has no short term memory. I keep her pills and eye drops out of her sight so she doesn't take them when she shouldn't and it seems to be working. She can't tell me what she made for dinner immediately after eating. Today I removed everything from the mantle and tops of tables to prepare for a ceiling repair Sat. I had 2 boxes filled with items that I set in the vestibule. When I got back tonite, she had put the items back on the mantle and put the box in the other room. I think I handled it wrong, I told her she was making me work twice as hard, asked her if remembered what we were boxing them (it took her a little, but she did remember the painter). I thought I could help her get better with programs I purchased, but one of them included suduko. How the heck can she do that? I did get a 14 piece disney puzzle, which she does in time. How can a woman who does crossword puzzles and word scramble, have so much trouble with the puzzle? Can they get better, what should I try? Should I stop asking questions she can't answer? I thought if they think, they would make their brains stronger, that maybe one day she'll be able to tell me what she ate, etc.


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
No she won't is the simple answer. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't keep pegging away trying to stimulate interest and enjoyment in the moment but it is beyond the capability of someone with Alzheimer's to rebuild their brains through exercise - maybe one day!

Help your friend to live as well as she can but don't have high expectations. Good wishes to you both.


Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
Marion is right - your neighbour (and what a very lucky neighbour, to have a neighbour like you!) will not get better. She will get progressively worse. To be honest, at some point, you will not be able to cope without help. Does your neighbour have family, and if so, are they aware of the situation? I mean fully and completely aware of exactly how she is? Nobody wants to cope with dementia - carers don't really choose to become carers. I would think we all sort of "grew" into the role of full time carer, more or less without noticing that the job was becoming bigger and bigger. If your neighbour has family, I think you need to make them aware of exactly how much help she is needing now - and that she will need more as time goes on.

If she doesn't have family, then you possibly should contact Social Services. Because as her condition deteriorates, there could arise all sorts of issues - like paying bills, and being responsible for finances, and increasing care. (Does someone accompany her on GP visits?)

There are puzzles etc. available for adults with dementia - they are simple, but have more "grown up" pictures. One site that I used is called Active Minds. Their stuff is expensive though. http://www.active-minds.co.uk/

About the asking questions - I learned with my husband never to ask "open ended" questions. Like instead of asking "Are you feeling well?" - I would focus on something. "How's your cough today?" And not to give a choice of more than two things, as the ability to choose is lost quickly - and also, the ability to choose from just a verbal question was gone from my husband quite early. So, rather than asking "Which shirt do you want to wear?" I would just take out two, and show them to him, asking "Would you like to wear this shirt, or this shirt?" and even when I took him out for a treat in a cafe, I would get two different cakes, so he could then see just a choice of two - and whichever he chose, I would eat the other!
Best wishes - you are a star neighbour.
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Registered User
May 21, 2014
Dementia is a progressive disease. You can't make her better, you can only try and make her live well. That includes not expecting too much and not "testing" her with questions she can't answer. Here is a good article about compassionate communication: http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/show...ionate-Communication-with-the-Memory-Impaired

She will need input from Social Services and a care package. You as a neighbour can't be expected to care for her 24/7 but living on your own with dementia presents all kinds of problems, and professional input will be required before long. These could consist in carers coming to the house or a day care centre / sitting service.


Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
agreed with all - she is going to need some extra help. The compassionate communication is excellent for starters and to be honest just keeping her occupied and letting her know you are there for her and having conversations is fantastic and helping her enormously - would that we all had friends like you xxx

But she probs will have all sorts of issues - personal hygiene and the need for a continence nurse, help with finances or she might find herself in trouble and not least someone should have power of attorney which should be sorted whilst she still has some capacity, as you say meals will become an issue and sleep patterns may be disturbed. This is a rocky path and if you are the person that she relies on and she has no family then it would be in her interests that you formalise that relationship so that you can help her through and be involved in decisions.

She also needs to claim things like Attendance Allowance and perhaps she should visit the memory clinic, she will need support with doctors appointments and all sorts (if she is not remembering there is no point in her visiting the doctor or the clinic alone)
Lots to think about

keep posting everyone is here to help xx