People with dementia experience a range of symptoms related to changes in thinking, remembering, reasoning, and behavior. Living with dementia presents unique challenges, but there are steps you can take to help now and in the future.
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias get worse over time. Even simple everyday activities can become difficult to complete. To help cope with changes in memory and thinking, consider strategies that can make daily tasks easier. Try to adopt them early on so you will have more time to adjust. You can:
Dementia often changes a person’s sleeping habits. You may sleep a lot, or not enough, and wake up many times during the night. Poor sleep quality can make dementia symptoms worse.
Tips for better and safer sleep:
Participating in activities you enjoy and getting exercise may help you feel better, stay social, maintain a healthy weight, and have regular sleep habits.
Try these tips for a healthy and active lifestyle:
Many people may be able to help in different ways. These people might include family members, friends, professional caregivers, community organizations, and others with dementia. For example, you can:
Learn more about support and services.
The National Institute on Aging funds Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers across the U.S. that offer support groups and programs for people with dementia and their families.
Carry identification with you in case you get lost or need help. If you drive, talk with your doctor about changes in your driving and take seriously family and friends who express concerns. Make minor changes in the home to create a safer environment to prevent falls and injuries. Good balance, a habit of standing up slowly, and non-skid shoes can also help prevent falls.
As much as you might want to put off difficult decisions about the future, now is the time to think about health and finances to make sure you have a say and are prepared. Start discussions early with your family members while everyone can still help make decisions together. There are several areas you will want to consider, including legal and financial matters, and options for in-home care, long-term care, and funeral and burial arrangements.
Learn more about planning for the future.
Research has expanded our understanding of potential new ways to help diagnose, treat, and prevent Alzheimer’s and related dementias. These advances are possible because of people like you who have participated in clinical trials and other studies. Participant benefits include receiving regular monitoring by medical professionals, access to support groups and resources, testing new treatments, and helping others with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia as well as future generations.
Learn more about volunteering for clinical trials and studies.
Explore the resources on this website and linked below to find more information from federal government agencies.
Explore free publications from NIA on Alzheimer’s and related dementias, caregiving, and healthy aging. Also available in Spanish.
Learn about living with dementia, care, and next steps.
Use this free public service by searching online or calling toll-free to get connected to services in your community.
Use the information on resources and support in this easy-to-read brochure.
Work through this mobility planning tool and create your own plan to stay independent, safe, and mobile in your community. Also available in Spanish.
Get free publications from NINDS on dementia. Also available in Spanish.
The Alzheimer’s & related Dementias Education & Referral (ADEAR) Center is a service of the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health. Call 800-438-4380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk with an information specialist.
This content is provided by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.