Tips on Voting for Those with Dementia

  1. Home
  2. To Us, It's Personal Blog
  3. Tips on Voting for Those with Dementia
Vote-300x225.jpgAs anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows, there’s an election going on, and the day to vote is coming soon. Every registered voter is eligible to vote, but doing so may be challenging for some people with dementia. Caregivers should be prepared to find ways  to make the voting process easier for their loved ones with dementia who are capable of voting.

Should they vote?

There often is some debate about whether it is appropriate for an individual with dementia to participate in the voting process. While this is a discussion that will likely go on for some time, many experts believe that a person with dementia who wants to vote should do so if they understand what it is they are doing and understand that the candidate or issue with the most votes wins. A caregiver is often in the best position to determine if this is the case.

For many people with dementia, voting is a cherished right that they take seriously.


Assuming that a loved one with dementia is capable of voting, what are some things that a caregiver can do to make the process easier? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Discuss in advance. It’s often a good idea to start talking about an upcoming election in advance, as the repetition can help to reinforce the activity in the mind of the person with dementia.
  • Consider using a mail-in ballot. If a loved one with dementia is easily confused by unfamiliar surroundings, heading out to a polling station may cause anxiety or otherwise impede their ability to vote. Planning ahead to use a mail-in absentee ballot can eliminate this problem.
  • Think about ID. States have different voter requirements, and some now require specific forms of ID before a person can vote. Find out in advance what is required, and make sure your loved one has an appropriate form of ID. (For example, many people with dementia no longer have a valid driver’s license.)
  • Plan ahead. If voting in person, allow time for the patient to get acclimated to the surroundings. If possible, bring them to the polling place several times before election day so that it is more familiar. At home, go over what is involved. If paper ballots are used, make a mock ballot and practice filling it in. If machines with levers or other movable parts are used, talk about them and prepare the loved one for the experience.
For people with dementia who still value their right to vote, providing assistance can help keep them connected to an important part of American life.​

Related Article
Using Technology in Dementia Care​ -​


There are no comments on this post.
Looking for advice?

Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.

Sign up for advice

Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.

Please select at least one newsletter.
Valid email address is required
View sample
View sample
View sample