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Women sitting together outside

4.8 Be socially active

Keep spending time with friends.

People who know and spend time with a range of other people (i.e., larger social networks) tend to have better brain health. They tend to do better on memory and thinking tests. The same goes for people with dementia, those who are more socially active tend to do better on memory tests. 

Spend time with friends

People with dementia describe how their diagnosis has brought them closer to some of their family and friends. Discussing their diagnosis and receiving support from these people was seen as a positive experience and helped them feel better. 

However, others describe dementia as a social disease. They find that friends often fall away, they stop being invited to events, and some people don’t know how to talk to them. Some people with dementia avoid social situations because they’re worried about how others will treat them, or that they’ll embarrass themselves. Many people with dementia feel more isolated after their diagnosis. 

See 2.8 Share your diagnosis, your way for suggestions on talking to your friends about dementia.

Reach out to friends, even if you’re not usually the person who does the organizing. You can also ask a close friend or family member to help you connect with other friends and family.  

Here are some suggestions that might make it easier to socialize:

  • Spend time with people you feel closer to or more supported by. 
  • Socialize in smaller groups. 
  • Socialize in quieter places rather than noisy pubs or restaurants. 
  • If you’re getting tired, take a break from socializing (e.g., by going to a quiet place.) 
  • Talk on the phone or by video-chat. 
  • Write letters, emails, or send messages. 

Also see 3.9 Strategies from others for when you are out in public

Be socially active

  • Reach out to your friends and try to socialise every week, or even every day.