Does the person you're caring for hesitate or seem perplexed by a long menu? Difficulty making choices is common in early- and mid-stage dementia. What was once simple has become more challenging due to a combination of memory loss, loss of judgment and the ability to process options, and fear of saying something wrong.
Some ways to help:
Don't mistake respectfulness for helping. It might seem kind to wait patiently while your companion orders, but this can actually heighten his or her anxiety and confusion.
Instead, gently preempt a choice by stepping in with a suggestion: "Look, today's special is your favorite: salmon." Or, "I'm having salmon. You, too?"
Alternately, narrow the many options on the menu to just two: "Which sounds better to you: salmon or chicken?"