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Reality Orientation (R.O) For Individual With Dementia

Dementia and Symptom

Dementia is a syndrome associated with an on-going decline of the brain and its abilities due to gradual damage to the brain. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability that associated with a decline in memory or others thinking skills and can interfere in basic daily life function.

The symptoms of dementia are:

  • Decreased cognitive function such as forgetfulness, decline in thinking, language and ability to get and analyse information.
  • Confusion about person, time and place.
  • Personality changes.
  • Withdrawal or avoid to participate in group activity.
  • Withdrawal from taking part in everyday activities.

What is Reality Orientation (R.O)?

Reality orientation (R.O) is all about presenting information about time, place or person in order to help a person understand their surroundings and situation by using aids and prompts.

Strategies for R.O are:

  1. Clear information
  2. The used of simple word.
  3. Daily and repeated at regular intervals.
  4. Good support from family members or carer.

The Benefit Of R.O

The primary goal of RO is to reduce confusion. It can improve cognitive functioning and behaviour in people with dementia.

The use of props or environmental cues was encouraged, including signs, clocks, calendars, reality orientation boards (information about location, date, day, weather, etc.). It’s also help in managing inappropriate behaviour due to disorientated of the situation.

Tips For Home Activities

  1. Calendar

Crossing date every morning help them identify date and day every day.

Automatic calendar can be helpful for individual who lose track of which date or day it is. It can help to prevent them getting confused about time. Now days, clock and calendar application can also be downloaded easily on smartphone.

2. Digital Watch

Simple watch illustration and design can help them understand time and/or date easily.

3. Picture Card

Simple illustration and picture can help them to understand information or instruction easily. It also can help them to communicate or express themselves easily.

4. Identity tag

There are variety type and design of identity tag in market. Information that can be written in identity tag are:

  • Name
  • Close family member’s phone number
  • Disease name, allergic, and blood group.

5. Family portrait

Family member’ or friends’ portrait can help them to identify individual or event situation in that picture.

Avoid portrait in large members.


Functional improvements in patients with dementia in community can maintain functionality and improve their quality of life.


  1. Living with Dementia. September 9, 2015, from http://www.alzheimers.org.uk
  2. About dementia. September 7, 2015, from http://www.nsh.uk
  3. Reality Orientation. September 10, 2015, from http://www.memorymatterssw.co.uk
Last Review : 28 August 2020
Writer/Translator : Zakiah bt. Zakaria
Accreditor : Rokiah bt. Alias
Reviewer : Tan Foo Lan