Loneliness and depression in a person with dementia

There are things that people with dementia can do to help manage loneliness and depression when living alone.

How can I deal with loneliness as a person with dementia who lives alone?

It’s normal to feel lonely sometimes. However, if you don’t have people around you, or find it hard to stay in touch, you may start to feel lonely more often. Loneliness can make you feel less like doing things, which can make you feel more isolated.

If you spend a lot of time on your own and don’t have much contact with others, or don’t have ways of occupying your time, you might become depressed. This is more than just feeling sad from time to time. Depression is when feelings of sadness and hopelessness take over your life. It is a serious condition that can have a big effect on your life, but there are things you can do to manage this and there is support available.

Tips on dealing with loneliness and depression if you live alone

If you’re feeling lonely or depressed, the following may help:

Stay active

  • Try to do things even if you don’t feel like it. Feeling lonely or depressed can make you less motivated and less likely to do things, which can make you more lonely and depressed.
  • Try to do something you enjoy such as a hobby or seeing friends, even if it’s just for a little while.
  • Try doing something new – go to a new group or visit a museum, for example.
  • Exercise can help if you’re feeling depressed or lonely. It can be difficult when you’re feeling low, but even going for a walk or doing some gardening can help.

Talk to others about your feelings

  • Talking about your feelings is often the first step in dealing with them. It can help to talk to other people such as friends or family. Try telling them how you’re feeling. If people know that you aren’t feeling good, they may keep in touch or visit more regularly.
  • There are helplines that you can call for help and advice – Alzheimer’s Society’s support line is available on 0333 150 3456.
  • If you are finding everything too much, try talking to your GP. They may be able to help, or refer you to a specialist for ‘talking therapy’. This is where you talk about how you’re feeling to a professional such as a psychologist or counsellor.
Dementia Support Line
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