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Supporting social connection

It can be a challenge for people living with younger onset dementia to stay in touch with their family, friends and community. Dementia can affect a person’s personality, emotions and their ability to connect with others as they did before their diagnosis.

How to support social connection for people with dementia

Plan activities

As a carer, there are many strategies you can use to support regular social connection and positive communication. For example, hobbies can bring enjoyment and planned activities can benefit the mind, body and heart.

Many activities don’t require memory; they can be something new, something enjoyed in the past, or tasks at home that help to establish daily routines. These activities facilitate conversation and often stimulate reminiscence in the mid to late stages of dementia.

You can get involved in local community activities, such as art, crafts, and gardening.

Visit the Dementia Friendly Communities website to find local activities to join.

Stay connected with family, friends and community

Even though language and vocabulary can diminish in people with dementia, their desire to connect with others stays the same. By using helpful prompts, you can help the person recall recent events without focusing on their memory or making them feel embarrassed.

Helping the person feel involved in activities – however small – can help you share a positive experience together. These activities can let them know they are loved.

Connection for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, community connection is important. To get specific resources and recommendations for how to best connect with a family or friend with dementia, you can read our booklet.