PWD Harry Urban Do and Don’t Lists of Dementia

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ALL of them are excellent,  but monthly I post some of my favorite excerpts from Harry Urban’s blog

These are Harry’s “Do and Don’t Do” lists from August 2015.

Harry is one of my primary mentors, and the prime reason I take the time and energy to write my own blog, and the many hours I spend to share the writing of others.


   August 14, 2015

Welcome to the world of dementia. I can think of a million places I would rather be but for now I am stuck here. I would like to tell you of some of the Do & Don’ts of my world that may make your life easier. There are so many don’ts that you will learn along this journey but here are a couple to share with you. I will post the Do in another post.

1.Don’t speak to someone living with dementia as if they were a child. This can cause angry reactions and it indicates a lack of respect.
2.Don’t scold the person. He or she is not intentionally making a mistake. Instead, quietly and gently point out the behavior and suggest alternatives.
3.Don’t speak to the person in negatives. You’ll get a better response if you say “Come with” than you will with, “You can’t go there. Avoid negative phrases like, “Don’t do that” or “You’re doing it the wrong way”.
4.Don’t ever startle someone with dementia. Approach the person from the front and be sure they see you before you speak to them. If startled, we may see that as a threat and react to it.
5.Don’t ever assume that every person with dementia is the same. Dementia affects and progresses differently in different people.
6.Don’t be afraid to touch the person or give a hug. Express some affection. The person with dementia likely does not get enough of it. Make sure the person is comfortable with you touching or hugging them
7.Don’t talk “around” a person with dementia, as if they were not there. He or she may understand more then you think.
8.Most importantly DON’T GIVE UP !!!!


  August 14, 2015

The Do’s and Don’ts of caring for someone with dementia is longer then my arm. I already posted some of the don’ts now I will share some of the Do’s. Feel free to add additions Do’s and Don’ts that you have learned along the way.

1.Do treat the person as a adult. Although the person with dementia is confused, he or she is an adult and deserves to be treated like one.
2.Do be sensitive to the environment. Is it calm? Quiet? Is the temperature comfortable? Is the lighting too bright? An uncomfortable environment may be the cause of catastrophic reactions.
3.Do help the person to remain as independent as possible. It may be quicker to do things for them, but it is better for the person to do things for themselves.
4.Do simplify instructions. Give one direction at a time to avoid confusion.
5.Do establish a familiar routine. Activities within the routine should be varied as appropriate.
6.Do speak to the person as if they understand. Give the person the benefit of the doubt. They may surprise you.
7.Do respond to the person’s feelings, not just the words expressed.
8.Do be flexible. Creativity helps when working with a person with dementia.
9.Do learn as much about the person’s past as you can. This will help you immensely in planning programs ans when calming a person who is upset.
10.Do provide encouragement. Imagine not knowing who or where you are. You’d need encouragement too.
11.DO BE PATIENT. Give the person extra time to respond to questions or requests. Don not bombard the person with multiple questions or requests. Rushing the person usually winds up frustrating both of you.

Above are excerpts with his permission, from Harry’s blog at

* Admin issues: SHARE dementia awareness thru buttons below. If interested in receiving notice of future blog postings there is a “follow” button in the upper left corner (MS Explorer) or lower right (Safari and Chrome). Feel free to leave your thoughts in the form of comments, but please filter your comments with truthful loving kindness to all concerned. If there is an advertisement below, I have no control over what is shown. — Copyright exclusively by Harry Urban on 2015-08/14 Registered & Protected


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