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Table 4 Themes and sub-themes of the guidelines

From: Development of guidelines for family and non-professional helpers on assisting an older person who is developing cognitive impairment or has dementia: a Delphi expert consensus study



What is confusion and dementia?


What to do if you are concerned that a person may be developing dementia

• Talking to the person

• Seeking professional help

• If the person is reluctant to get help

Supporting the person with dementia

• Seeing the person behind the dementia

• Helping the person with their memory problems

• Helping the person to complete tasks

• Helping the person who is disoriented

• Helping the person who has regressed into the past

Communicating with the person

• Gaining and keeping the person’s attention

• Being understood during a conversation

• Communicating in a group situation

• Asking the person questions

• Offering the person options

• Non-verbal communication

• Challenges experienced during communication

Discussing sensitive issues

• Discussing the diagnosis

• Making decisions and planning for the future

• Discussions and decisions about driving

• Discussions and decisions about care

Behaviours that you may find challenging

• Resistance

• Arguments

• Agitation

• Anger and aggression

• Disinhibited and inappropriate sexual behaviour

• Delusions and hallucinations

Assisting someone who is wandering

• How to tell if a person is wandering

• What to do if you encounter someone who is wandering

• Ways of identifying people who wander

• Contacting emergency services


• Delirium is a medical emergency

• If you are caring for a person with delirium