being and remaining in connection

with family friends and community

When communicating is difficult - help!

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Part of the changing relationship - you can do it!

This video is also in our Understanding Changing Relationships section. Teepa Snow provides some tips on how we can connect when conversation does not seem to flow. She suggests:

  • letting go of how communicating and spending time together used to happen and to be ok with trying something new

  • acknowledging your frustration witht he chanages - it can be hard

  • taking a deep breath and resetting

  • doing things with the person that you enjoyed before and that did not require talking

  • bringing other people along

This goes for 10 minutes and is not a hard listen.

Watch Here

Think about it as distress instead of as paranoia

In this video, Teepa Snow helps the listener to hear the 'message behind the message' (the paranoia). She encourages us to look at what is lying behind a persons distress through remembering 5 emotions (frustration, sadness, confined/lack of control, scared, purposeless). What seems to be paranoia may in fact be the brain reacting to copmute these emotions. By understanding this, we as listeners can help the person to move through or past these feelings. We can ease their distress and reassure without negating the feelings or dismissing the person as 'just being paranoid'.

Watch Here

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Here is an article that may be helpful for communicating through different stages of dementia

with family, friends and community


As dementia advances it sometimes can be hard to know how to connect with someone who has dementia. Their memory and ability to communicate in a way that we are used to may have deteriorated. And yet it is so important and special, as many of you would have experienced, adapting how you connect with someone in your life who has dementia. We've provided some ideas for you below - please share any of yours too!


This video is a presentation given to health care workers, however it is so helpful in encouraing us to have fun with eachother even when it feels childish. We want to enocurage friends especially to embrace play and let go!

using photos

Many places we look and many stories we hear relate to how wonderful photos can be in connecting together. Using photos/images/videos from the past is often referred to as reminiscence therapy. Here are some ideas and apps, other than the simplest and often most effective way of using photos - getting the old photo albums out!


This archive of photos was inspired by reminiscense therapy. The BBC worked with two universities in the UK to develop it with photos organised by theme and decade. It is a simple website and does not require copmlicated no up to date phones or tablets.

Many of the photos are most likely more relevant for those who group in the UK, however we do love the idea and it may be a useful idea for you to create for someone.

This document describes the project and how to use the archive

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with family, friends and community

Technologies that can help

There are many apps, websites, talking books, talking pens, talking photo albums etc etc that have the potential and do help those with dementia and their family, friends and community connect. 

Some require each person to have very up to date technology and some require payment. Many also require a committment to the use of the technology for a few weeks so as to get in the habit of using it before it feels like a natural aid to help connect. We are in the process of reviewing some of the technologies, applications on phones and tablets/iPads especially. Please let us know if you have any apps that you have found useful! Below are a few that we have tested and/or feel could be great.

Some Apps

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A Walk Through Dementia

(Alzheimer's Research UK)

This does require an as up to date phone as possible, with google goggles being the ultimate way to experience this. However this free app for the phone or tablet, gives a small insight to what they world may look like and be experienced by someone who has dementia. 



This is an app for those who are in the early stages of alzheimer's disease. It is an app that the 'patient' (we wish they chose a different word!) and their family and friends can download. It uses facial recognition, has reminders, sends photo updates and helps someone with dementia recognise those around them. It looks simple and is free however, again, it will require up to date technology and the know-how to use it!

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MyReef 3D Aquarium

This may be nice for a person with advanced dementia to sit and watch. Tanks can be customised, different camera angles can be chosen and the fish can be intereacted with too.

with family, friends and community


The stories below may help to assure you that 'lying' to the one you are caring for or interacting with is not a 'bad' thing. Sometimes someone who has dementia can get stressed and caught up on a particlaur topic and to calm and reassure them might mean telling them an untruth. Enjoy the stories below which provide a little humour and great insight.

Lies in dementia land

' . . .sometimes you find yourself lying to the same person who taught you to tell the truth. Because you love them.

Because you don’t want them to stress . . . Because you don’t want them to worry about why their husband is late. Because sometimes dementia changes the rules of relationships. And we adjust....'

An at home supermarket

This video is more pretending or playing rather than 'lying'. However it reveals a creativity in helping a loved one to experience something normality, connecting with the world and people around her.

Little white lies are ok

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