Smiling and attitude are big things when it comes to dementia patients. Did you ever see the movie Patch Adams? This was about a person who had to forget his own problems to help other people. His philosophy of treating patients was through humor and compassion. Treating a person's spirit guarantees a win regardless of the outcome. I think at the end of the movie he was told he had excess happiness.
It is important to understand your loved one with this disease and remember that they can't help it, they didn't ask for it, and they don't want it. You have to distance yourself from the disease but not your loved one. Start everyday with a hug and a hello. Keep in your mind that if the disease can't be cured the time spent together should still have a win, win ending.
Check out this article on Alzheimer's Weekly on line Magazine: http://alzheimersweekly.com/content/solid-advice-say-hello-each-day
We announce and prepare ourselves and others for the fact that we have already started to fade away. It started the moment someone in a white coat told us "You have Dementia, probably of this or that type, and certainly with these features." I'm on my way out! It's all downhill from here! Don't look for me anymore; I'm going to be busy fading away and not being me.
Let's not let our loved one have this in there head. Be there for them all the time. They need encouragement to keep trying, to keep living.
Hope this helps,
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal
Seaboard Press An Imprint of James A Rock Pub., Co.