February is often a time when many think of love, particularly around Valentine’s Day.

But when someone in a relationship is diagnosed with dementia it can often affect the dynamic of that partnership, especially when their partner becomes their care giver. But the onset of dementia certainly does not have to mean the end of a happy relationship.

With the right help and support, relationships can still be positive and caring. Here are some things to remember when supporting someone you love that has dementia.

Your partner is still your partner

Dementia doesn’t define a person. It’s important to remember that although your partner may be going through some changes that they are still the same person they were before their diagnosis. Try to remember that is it not your partner changing, but the disease that is progressing.

Educate yourself

To better understand how you can support your partner – and yourself – learn as much as you can about the condition and how it progresses. Understanding how the dementia can affect people will help you empathise with how your partner is feeling.

Support your partner to be independent

It can be very difficult to see the person you love struggling with things they used to be able to do. It is important to focus on what the person can still do, and support them to do these things. Try not to focus on what they can’t do.

Find the positive

Sometimes it can be hard to see the positive. Try writing things down, even small things such as a shared joke. When you are having a difficult day, these things can remind you of the good you are doing and that there will be better times.

Talk to people

It can be stressful when your partner has dementia and many people experience feelings of isolation. Talking about your experiences with others in your position can be hugely beneficial. Alzheimer’s Society Talking Point is an online community for people with dementia, their family, friends and carers. It's a safe place to ask questions, share experiences and get advice and support.

  • Helen Green is London Media Officer at the Alzheimer's Society