Forgets friends and family members names
When it happens
Begins at earliest stage of dementia and increases in frequency throughout the disease. The person may also have trouble recognizing faces; someone may seem familiar but can't be placed.
It's normal to occasionally misplace a name, especially if the person is seen out of context or hasn't been seen for a long time. With dementia, however, the inability to recall a face or a name increases in frequency and happens even with familiar people in familiar settings.
Why it happens
Retrieving the details (such as a name or relationship) that go with a particular face is becoming a more difficult task for the brain.
What you can do
Introduce someone with an association: "Mary from work is here." "Hi, Dad, it's your favorite daughter, Kate."
If you see the person struggling to recall a name, supply it. Don't make it a "test" to see whether he or she can remember.
Ignore mistakes rather than pointing them out (the person won't remember having made a mistake). Instead, use the correct name in the conversation as if there had been no mistake made.