Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Nurs. 2011 May;20(9-10):1445-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03549.x. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Dementia and loneliness: an Australian perspective.

Author information

Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.



To explore the perceptions of loneliness according to people with early-stage dementia, living in community and long-term care and also the views of their family carers.


Research that specifically explores the influence of loneliness on dementia is limited and indicates the prevalence of loneliness and the negative relationship between loneliness and cognitive decline. There is a paucity of research that explores loneliness from the perspective of the person with dementia.


A descriptive exploratory qualitative approach was used.


Data were collected through semi-structured audio-taped interviews. A purposive sample of 70 people with a diagnosis or probable dementia and 73 family carers were recruited from community and long-term care from South East Queensland, Australia.


Four themes were identified: staying connected to others; losing the ability to socially engage; experiencing loneliness; and overcoming loneliness. The results emphasise the importance of familiar human relationships in reducing the feelings of loneliness in people experiencing dementia.


People with dementia are at risk of loneliness, but placing them with unfamiliar people and environments may not improve their situation.


Better refinement of care that takes into account the potential for loneliness and an understanding of premorbid social tendency may assist in the implementation of individualised and evidence-based strategies to assist people with dementia to lead a better quality of life. To maintain well-being, the social needs of the person with dementia as well as the family need to be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center