Tips for Domestic Helpers

Domestic helpers can be caregivers to share the load of caring for people with dementia. It’s important that domestic helpers know their role as a caregiver and learn how to communicate with the employer with dementia.

Download the “Tips for Domestic Helpers” leaflet

Why is there a need to understand dementia?

People with dementia have difficulties communicating due to a decline in memory, cognitive function, expression and social skills. Understanding dementia will help the domestic helpers to:

  1. Reduce misunderstandings with the person with dementia
  2. Facilitate communication with the person with dementia
  1. Provide better care
  2. Relieve care pressure and difficulties

The Roles of Domestic Helper

Provide Basic Care
Help the people with dementia with eating, bathing, exercising and going out
Take care of emotional and psychological needs
Understand his/her likes and dislikes, and what he/she is proud of, to help them relax and calm down
Provide Encouragement
Give him/her support and encouragement
Understanding Needs
Know his/her regular needs

How should helpers communicate with the people with dementia?


  • Introduce yourself
  • Address him/her by name
  • Use simple words and short sentence
  • Speak clearly, slowly and calmly in simple and easy words and sentences
  • Talk about what he/she is familiar with, such as where you are, people or the weather
  • Ask questions that only need a “yes or no” answer
  • Let him/her take time to answer, and respond encouragingly with a smile or praise
  • Be patient and listen
  • Guess what he/she really means if the words are vague


  • Give orders
  • Treat them like a child
  • Argue with them
  • Speak loudly
  • Refer to things and locations vaguely as “those” or “that”
  • Leave them alone
  • Try to reason with him/her
  • Tell them they have forgotten, e.g. “I’ve just mentioned……”
  • Challenge their short term memory, e.g. “Can you remember……”
  • Criticise their response
  • Talk in a noisy place

Who can help?


Tell the employer what difficulties you are facing in providing the care, and seek his/her support to resolve the issues.


JCCPA offers regular Domestic Helpers Training to enhance their knowledge and skills in caring for people with dementia.