I am a Unit Manager at a LTC facility. I have worked with dementia in one way or another since the beginning on my nursing career 6 years ago. I'll tell you what I have learned works best for me. Keep it personal, speak softly as you can and make your voice as pleasant and as sweet as you can. Be sure you smile widely or look concerned, whatever suits the situation the best. Smiles go a long way. Your initial approach to a confused and/or a combative patient is key. Try to make eye contact with them and keep it, get their attention focused on you if you can and keep it there. Ask them questions about themselves: where did they grow up, what did they do for a living, where and how did they meet their husband or wife, etc. With a pleasantly confused patient, this works 95% of the time. You did well with the towel folding. Usually if you figure out what they did for a living, you can come up with some creative ideas related to that to keep them occupied. A lot of my older folks used to work at a cotton mill in my town. I have loads of clothes and sheets we bring out for them to get their hands on and they will fold alllll day long. If they did something with their hands, find something for them to do that will resemble that feeling in a tactile manner. Something familiar such as this almost always has a calming effect. I had a little woman who was a housewife. I would go into her room and put things out of place, unmake the bed, etc. She would go back in and clean everything up. Just some ideas, hope it helps!