Living well with dementia – Part 1: Staying socially active

In part 1 of a series of articles looking at making the most of life with dementia, we look at the importance of maintaining a social life.


In part 1 of a series of articles looking at making the most of life with dementia, we look at the importance of maintaining a social life.

Being diagnosed with dementia can be overwhelming and it’s important to give yourself time to adjust to the news. It’s also very important to maintain a positive approach to your life with dementia. In part 1 of a series of articles looking at making the most of life with dementia, we look at the importance of maintaining a social life.

Despite the changes you may see in your life and the lives of the people around you, it is still possible to live a very full social life with dementia.

Although dementia affects many people, everyone experiences it differently and by focusing on the things you can still do and enjoy, you will find it easier to stay positive. With the right help and support when you need it, many people can, and do, live well with dementia for several years.

One of the best ways of living well is to maintain your social connections. Keeping in touch with the people you know and engaging in the kind of social activities you enjoy will help you to maintain your confidence. If you are a regular theatre or cinema-goer, there’s no reason to stop.

Likewise, if you play music, sing or perhaps take part in regular exercise like walking, or playing a sport, continuing to stay involved will help your mental wellbeing.

Of course, continuing with an active social life is also good for the people who care for you, whether they are family, friends or carers.

Many entertainment venues are now dementia-friendly. For example, some cinemas put on dementia-friendly screenings of the films and leisure centres run dementia-friendly swimming sessions as well as other activities.

Other activities you could try include:

Movement: dance, tai chi, yoga, swimming or joining a walking group can really help keep you active and sociable – look out for local dementia-friendly swimming, gym and walking sessions.

Art & The Arts: drawing/painting classes, drama groups and book clubs can all help you stay involved and can reduce stress and anxiety.

Memories: reminiscence is increasingly used as a tool to help people with dementia socialise and find a focus. Why not share your life experiences and stories from the past with photos, objects, video and music clips, either as a book or on a tablet or other digital device?

Social & Support Links

Calderdale has some excellent dementia support options including the Memory Lane cafes in Halifax and Sowerby Bridge. Bluebird Calderdale and Bradford’s CEO, Shabir Hussain is a trustee of the organisation, part of Bluebird’s commitment to community and volunteer work in the area.:

Halifax Memory Lane Cafe: The Maurice Jagger Centre, Halifax – Mondays
Sowerby Bridge Memory Lane Café: St Paul’s Methodist Church, Tower Hill, Sowerby Bridge HX6 2EQ –  Saturdays
Contact email: or
Contact Phone Number: June or Chris on 01422 706373 or 07920 549131

Bluebird is also involved with Calderdale Dementia Friendly Community (CDFC) an organisation that wants to support groups and organisations to help make Calderdale a dementia-friendly borough. Find out more about them on their website

You can also find local memory cafés (also known as a dementia café), on the Alzheimer's Society website – meet other people with dementia and their carers in an informal drop-in setting to share advice, tips and support

Song: Try the Singing for the Brain groups run by the Alzheimer’s Society – singing is known to improve mood and wellbeing and is also great fun

The Alzheimer's Society offers support near you and Age UK offers social activities for what's available in your area.

Home Care

If you need more support, following your dementia diagnosis, home care can help. Living in your own home is the preferred option of many people with dementia and has obvious benefits in helping you to maintain a familiar environment and day-to-day routine. At Bluebird, we offer a full range of home care, from occasional visits, through to live-in care and respite care. Find out more on our website: /