Alzheimer's and Dementia Dementia Care at Home

What Does Redirection Look Like with Someone Who Has Dementia?

People who have dementia may not have the mental capacity to control all their thoughts. For instance, if your elderly loved one has dementia, they will likely get occupied with one specific thought and not be able to let it go easily. An example might be that they are insistent that they need to go visit a friend (who they actually haven’t seen in decades). You aren’t going to be able to convince them they don’t really know that person anymore because they truly believe they do.

In instances where your elderly loved one is insistent on something, you and the in-home care providers may want to try redirection. What does redirection look like with someone who has dementia?

Look Into Their Environment

If your elderly loved one is insistent that they need or want to do something, but it isn’t possible, you may want to change their thoughts on this. While that may not be possible, there could be something in their environment that is triggering them to feel the way they are.

In-Homecare in Portage MI
In-Homecare in Portage MI

You or a senior care provider should take some time to look into your elderly loved one’s environment. Maybe, they pulled out an old photo album and saw their best friend from years ago. Since their brain doesn’t work as well as it used to due to the dementia, they may believe they are still friends with that person. If you can get their focus redirected on something else, then you can put the photo album away. That could help your elderly loved one to calm down.

Reasoning Won’t Work

If your elderly loved one has dementia and they are stuck on something, understanding that reasoning won’t work is the first step to getting past the situation.

Instead of trying to reason with your elderly loved one, you can try redirecting them. For example, in the friend story above, you could try telling your elderly loved one that they can see their in-home care provider (somebody they get along with). If you can get someone over to their house that they connect with, it could take their mind off wanting to see their “friend”.

Have Them Do Something With You

If your elderly loved one is still stuck on something, you might be able to redirect them by saying that you will do an activity with them. Sometimes, by saying “let’s do this together”, instead of saying “I need you to do this”, can make all the difference. If you can’t do something with your elderly loved one at that time, maybe you can have an in-home care provider do an activity with them.


These are some of the examples of how redirection might look with someone who has dementia. If your elderly loved one is focused on one thing and can’t seem to let it go, hopefully, these redirection tips will help.


If you are considering in-homecare in Portage, MI, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at Fresh Perspective Home Care at (269) 329-4717. We are here to help!