If going out is a struggle invite friends to come to you. Our friends now come to us for lunchtime events or afternoon tea. It’s a great excuse for me to buy a tea set and a fantastic cake stand. All the better when you make it a champagne afternoon tea!
- Miranda, whose husband Peter was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, aged 62
Maintain an active social life
Human beings can be highly social creatures. We do not thrive in isolation, and neither do our brains. Whether you have dementia yourself, or support someone with the condition, maintaining your friendships and making new ones can provide an important support network.
There are many ways to keep your support system strong and develop new relationships.
- Become a volunteer
- Join a local club or social group
- Take part in community activities
- Take group classes such as at the gym or at a local college
- Use the telephone or email to keep in touch with friends
- Connect with others via social networks such as Twitter, Facebook
- Get to know your neighbours
- Make regular dates to see your friends
- Go out to public places such as sports events, parks, museums, restaurants or theatre.
Doing new things can be a fun way to connect with new people and to keep life interesting. Dementia should not stop you from getting out and about, but you might want to take a companion along to support you if you are going somewhere for the first time. It is up to you whether you tell the new people you meet about your condition, but if you do they will hopefully understand you better and can support you.
If you are supporting a friend or family member with dementia, it is just as important that you find time to do your own thing and socialise with friends new and old. Being in different surroundings or company will give you a chance to have a break, talk about new things and recharge yourself.
Keeping up old friendships gives you a valuable support network whether you have dementia yourself or care for someone with it. If possible, try to keep in touch with your existing friends and see them as much as you can. If you are in the Oxfordshire area, why not come along to one of the social activities organised by YoungDementia UK together? The YoungDementia UK events in Oxfordshire page will tell you what is on and when.
Many local authorities offer leisure cards. These give you discounts of between 10% and 50% at leisure centres, cinemas, theatres, libraries, museums and hairdressers. They are often available to you if you claiming benefits such as Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and benefits for disabled people. Talk to your local authority to find out more.
Free cinema ticket
The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) and is accepted in 90% of UK cinemas. The Card enables a disabled cinema guest who is in receipt of certain benefits to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema. To find out more and how to apply here.