Caring for someone with dementia

Resources to help you care for someone with dementia.

Dementia is a common cause of disability for Australians aged 65 or older. However, there are different types of dementia that can impact young and old.

A great source of help when you care for someone with dementia is the Dementia Australia website.

You can also access support and resources on the Alzheimer’s Association website.

Signs of dementia

Early signs of dementia can be subtle or vague and not immediately obvious. Common symptoms include:

  • confusion
  • personality change
  • apathy and withdrawal
  • loss of ability to perform everyday tasks.

It’s important to get a proper diagnosis as early as possible. You should talk to your GP if you have concerns. We can help you find a doctor. Your doctor will consider all symptoms and may order further tests or referrals to a neurologist or geriatrician.

It can be hard to get symptoms checked if the person you care for doesn’t want to go to the GP. Dementia Australia has some practical suggestions about dealing with resistance to visiting the GP when diagnosing dementia.

Treatments for dementia

There’s no prevention or cure for most forms of dementia. However, some medications can reduce symptoms.

Dementia Australia has useful information about how dementia is treated.

Talk to your doctor about medication or other therapies for the management of dementia.

Support for family and carers

Family members and friends often find themselves in the role of a carer when caring for someone living with dementia.

If you care for someone, it’s important to make sure you’re also taking care of yourself.

There’s specialist support for carers of people with dementia. Dementia Australia offers support for families and carers and can link you to a support group or education programs.

Page last updated: 3 March 2022.