Staying healthy

15. Depression and anxiety

A certain amount of depression or anxiety is very common in people with dementia - particularly in the early stages, when they may be aware of their declining abilities. Those around them can help in the following ways:

  • If they are able to talk about what is troubling them, listen and show that you are trying to understand their feelings. Do not brush their feelings aside or attempt to 'jolly them along' - their feelings are very real.
  • Offer affection, reassurance and support.
  • If you feel that the person is extremely depressed or anxious, ask the GP for advice - the sooner the better.