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Dementia: Helping a Person Avoid Confusion

Topic Overview

People who have Alzheimer's disease or another dementia are sometimes easily confused and may forget where they are, what day it is, and other common facts. The following tips will help avoid confusion.

  • Use familiar objects, such as a favorite chair or photographs, to help the person recognize where he or she is.
  • Label often-used rooms, such as the bathroom, and objects.
  • Provide visual cues to time and place, such as calendars, clocks, and bulletin boards.
  • Keep regular routines for daily activities such as meals, baths, and hobbies.
  • Focus on consistency. Keep furniture, lamps, pictures, and other objects in the same place. This may be less confusing for the person.
  • Use color and contrasts. Soothing colors can create a calming effect.
  • Keep floor surfaces uncomplicated. Avoid checkerboard and other patterns when possible.
  • Avoid using mirrors for decorating. The person may become anxious if he or she does not recognize his or her own reflection.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Myron F. Weiner, MD - Psychiatry, Neurology
Last Revised October 29, 2012

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