Asks, "Where are we?" or "Why are we here?" or "What should I be doing?"

  All Alzheimer's Symptoms

When it happens Moderate-stage dementia

Why it happens Human beings like to be busy and productive. As memory loss increases and, at the same time, awareness of having a brain-impairing disease begins to fade, the person is left with a vague sensation that there are "places to go and things to do" -- but not a specific knowledge of what those things are.

What you can do

  • Orient the person when he or she appears confused: "We're at the doctor's to check your medicine." "It's time to watch the news." You may need to do this repeatedly.

  • Speak calmly and matter-of-factly.

  • Don't berate the person for not knowing. She's depending on you to set her straight.

  • Keep your tone and body language reassuring, never impatient.

  • Go along with persistent beliefs if they're harmless, such as a need to get up for work.

  • The person is likely to forget this plan as he or she gets ready. If he or she remembers, say something delaying, such as, "Your car will be here soon" or "Here's your briefcase; why don't you check that you have what you need?" Or distract the person with another activity.