I have not worked with a dementia client yet. I have however worked with many TBI, Parkinson’s, and other neurologic issue clients. I try to connect with each client on an individual level. Things like finding out what they enjoy doing for entertainment, sports teams they support, hobbies, etc. Then I make an effort to engage them in conversation about those things during workouts.
One thing that I have found to be helpful for those with cognitive issues, is to stand next to them and perform the motion they are doing as I cue it and as they do the motion, especially if they are having trouble using the correct form. Often, these clients will slip into doing an exercise incorrectly as soon as I stop helping them focus. So, I often have to do a virtual workout right along with them.