Dementia and Relationships

  • Richard ChestonEmail author
  • Gary Christopher


People who are living with dementia often describe their worlds as characterized by loss and isolation. Understandably, then, dementia research has emphasized the importance of the quality of social relationships for good dementia care. In the UK, Tom Kitwood described how a malignant social psychological world impacted on the personhood of the person living with dementia. Similarly, in the Netherlands, Bère Miesen drew on attachment theory to argue that many of the sometimes apparently bizarre behaviours of people who were living with severe levels of dementia were in fact attempts to create emotional security. What both perspectives show, however, is that the quality of the person’s social relationships plays a crucial part in determining how the existential threat of dementia impacts upon them.


Dementia Alzheimer’s disease Social psychology Attachment Personhood Insecurity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health and Social SciencesUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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