Having a friend or family member diagnosed with dementia is always an incredibly challenging time, and many people often feel powerless to help those suffering. There are small things you can do right from the start that, as their condition advances, can make a big difference.

In the early stages of dementia one simple exercise is to ask them what their all-time favourite songs are. With a good list of music you can then create a playlist that can be of great help in the later stages of the disease.

Another helpful thing to do is to get them to talk about their early childhood, parents and siblings. Often sufferers of dementia regress in mental age, and hearing about their parents can bring comfort during times of stress. You can even record them talking – it will help you remember the details while also providing a record of who they were for others.

With the small effort of recording their likes and histories you can be prepared with a few extra ‘tools’ for when they regress. In doing so you can help those suffering from the disease and everyone close to them as well.