Caring for someone with frontotemporal dementia: Daily tips

 One of the rules of thumb for caring for someone with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is to follow a regularly schedule routine. This can be achieved with the help of the daily living tips outlined below.

Frontotemporal dementia daily living caregiver tips


·         Facilitate the performance of activities that used to be simple but have now become difficult.

·         Keep the person as active as possible.

·         Concentrate in their skills.

·         Avoid distress between patient and caregiver.

·         Take a break now and then.

·         Reward desired behaviors as a form of motivation.


·         Consider a sponge bath in the tub or a chair in lieu of a shower.

·         Talk the person through each step in a calming tone of voice.

·         Allow the person to do as much as possible.

·         Identify schedule the bath or shower for the times of the day that the person is at their best.

·         Bathe every other day as opposed to daily.

·         Do not force things.


·         Buy clothes with large buttons.

·         Replace closures with Velcro.

·         Favor pants or skirts with elastic, pull-on waists.

·         Find shoes without laces that fit well and remain on.

·         Place a baby monitor in the person’s room to afford them a degree of independence while enabling you to be attentive to any problems.

·         Consider wraparound skirts as clothes if taking undergarments off is difficult.


·         Place a steering wheel lock or some other safety device to prevent someone with the car keys to take the vehicle.


·         Ask your bank manager, or a trustworthy friend or relative for help.

·         Restrict access to a single card/bank account.

·         Change computer passwords on a regular basis to prevent excessive shopping or misuse online.

·         If necessary, disable computers or remove hard drives.

·         Talk to a legal expert about setting up trusts, protecting assets, and obtaining financial assistance for caregiving expenses.


·         Switch to an easy, manageable haircut.

·         Use an electric razor to prevent cuts.

·         Use cold creams or disposable pre-moistened wipes to simplify the task of washing the person’s face.

·         Consider oral swabs if brushing becomes difficult.


·         Break down large tasks into simple steps.

·         Have the person perform simpler tasks like folding laundry.


·         Restrict the person’s access to money.

·         Hand out business-like cards to staff in stores, restaurants and banks explaining the person’s condition to help manage potential incidents – for example shoplifting – more discretely.

·         Do not let the person shop alone.


·         Make sure the person does a little exercise every day.

·         Provide a quiet, soothing activity before going to bed.

·         Try to have the person go to sleep and wake up at the same times each day.

·         Keep the person active during the day with such tasks as folding napkins, sorting things.

·         Keep the person well hydrated during the day but avoid an excess of liquid before going to bed.

·         Decrease TV-watching during the daytime as it may lead to napping.

·         You might want to get someone to sleep over a couple of nights a week so that you can rest.


·         A relative, college student, or health aide may be enlisted/hired to keep the person company.

·         A social worker may be helpful in finding local resources, such as an adult day care program.

·         Bring the person to work with you if permitted and feasible.

·         Keep an updated picture of the person in case he or she gets lost.

·         Register the person with the Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® program.


·         Use simple words and short sentences.

·         Speak in a calm tone of voice.

·         Do not speak to the person as if they are a child.

·         Reduce TV, radio, and other distractions while talking.

·         Include the person in the conversation – that they can’t/won’t respond doesn’t mean they do not understand.

·         Give them time to express themselves.

·         Pay attention to body language and facial expressions.

Telephone use

·         Write a script for the person to use when talking on the phone.

·         Have your phone company block calls from telemarketers and salespeople.

·         Lock the keypad to prevent outgoing calls.


·         Watch how the person reacts to visits.

·         Keep visits short.

·         Tell visitors what to expect and how to address the person.

·         Work visits into your daily schedule so you can use that time to play games, go for a walk or do an activity enjoyable for the patient.


Related: Caring for someone with frontotemporal dementia: Symptoms