What's Happening in the Brain
Following instructions requires a lot of brain function. The person must have enough language to understand what they are being told, enough memory to keep in mind, enough initiative to do, enough ability to carry out procedures, and enough judgment to do it safely. Therefore, it is no surprise that following instructions is affected in dementia. It is also clear that keeping everything simple - the language, the complexity, at the tasks, the number of things that can be done - is key to managing.