Preventing Social Isolation in People with Dementia

Preventing Social Isolation in People with Dementia

Loneliness is one of the most difficult emotions to face and unfortunately it is very common among people living with dementia. Since dementia can make it more difficult for people to maintain relationships, they are often left alone and disconnected. If you are caring for somebody with dementia, there are a few ways that you can help them reduce this social isolation:

Encourage Structured Activities: For a person living with dementia, structured and predictable social activities are often the highlight of their week and the consistency of it makes them feel safe and comfortable. Try to find activities that are aligned with their interests. Whether it is a knitting group, bowling league or an art class, the opportunity to connect with others through an activity allows them to become more engaged with the community.

People with Dementia

Get Them Out in Public: Just being out amongst people can help reduce social isolation. If they enjoy having a cup of tea in the afternoon, encourage them to have that cup of tea at a local café. Even the small personal interactions of ordering a tea and sitting in a café with other people will help them feel more connected.

Encourage Family Involvement: Strong family relationships can make a big difference to people living with dementia. Try to encourage family members to schedule frequent visits. Regularly spending time with people who know and love them best can make them feel a lot less isolated.

Foster Understanding: Since dementia is difficult for many to understand, people who suffer from it often find that friends, family and acquaintances avoid them. It is so painful for them to feel cut off from others at a time when they need them the most. They best way to make family and friends feel more comfortable is to educate them about dementia so that they understand it better and have an idea of what to expect.

Get them Outside and Moving: Fresh air and exercise are proven to provide people with a better sense of well-being. When you feel better, you are less likely to be overcome by sadness or loneliness. Often just getting them to go for a walk outside can give a more positive outlook.

Caring for a person with dementia is an emotional experience. Your feelings may range from frustration to admiration in just one afternoon. Watching somebody that you care about become increasingly lonely is heart breaking. You can help them, but your efforts may not make a difference overnight. What was a dismal failure yesterday may be the perfect solution today. Don’t give up!


President of iCare Home Health Services, a community based, boutique home health care company dedicated to serving the needs of our customers to maintain their quality of life and dignity while they recover from illness or age at the comfort of their own home.