Understanding Dementia

In New Zealand, nearly 70,000 people are living with a form of dementia and their partners, families and loved ones provide more than one million hours of unpaid care every week. We know that receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be difficult and emotional not only for the person receiving the diagnosis but also for their loved ones. 

For someone living with dementia, particularly in the early and mid-stages of the condition, there really is no place like home. Being in a familiar environment helps prevent confusion and disorientation, which helps the person to feel safe and secure as well as enables them to maintain their independence with the highest quality of life. 

If you are living with dementia or supporting a loved one with this, it is important to understand about the condition so that you are empowered to make informed decisions.

Home Instead are committed to educating individuals, families, carers and the communities we support with information about the support available to them. This guide contains a variety of resources to help you understand more about dementia and to guide you through your dementia journey. It will also provide tips for supporting someone with dementia including how they can live well with dementia.


Dementia is progressive and is caused when the brain is damaged by illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease. The term Dementia describes a collection of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. This affects a person’s memory, intellectual abilities, social skills, and emotional reactions. It can also result in changes in personality, and affects a person’s ability to maintain relationships. Whilst there is no cure for dementia, you can still live a fulfilled and engaging life.


People with dementia benefit significantly from remaining in the familiar surroundings of their own home. At Home Instead, relationship-based care is at the heart of everything we do, and we know how important it is to see the same highly-trained CAREGivers which helps to build a strong relationship. This is especially valuable for someone living with dementia as it provides familiarity and enables the CAREGivers to develop knowledge about their individual background and routine.


Caring for a person with dementia can be challenging and requires patience and flexibility. One of the most distressing aspects can be the changes in behaviour that can sometimes occur. It is important to note that physical illness, pain or discomfort of any kind can trigger a change in behaviour which may be difficult for the person living with dementia to communicate. Creating an environment where they feel safe, secure, and valued is crucial as well as providing engaging activities to participate in.

Caring for Dementia at Home

Caring for a loved one with dementia is challenging in every way – not only is it physically demanding, it’s also very emotionally draining. It can be common for carers to become exhausted by the constant need to be there for the person with dementia.

Read blog here.

Five Tips for Communicating to Someone with Dementia

Changing the way you communicate with a loved one does take some time, but your efforts will show that you care. By trying out some of these tips, you are helping your loved one to feel a sense of control and self-worth.

And when you understand how to talk to your loved one without causing confusion, you can better enjoy the time you spend together.

Read blog here.

Need dementia care? We can help.

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