Your questions

We answer some common questions about dementia.

Why does dementia change relationships?

Living with dementia can be difficult – not just for the person who is ill, but for their family and friends.

One of the hardest things can be the way dementia changes a person’s relationships with the people they love.


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Each person with dementia is different. These problems may happen after months or years, or not at all. If they do happen, they can be upsetting and hard to understand.

Remember that these changes are not their fault, and they are not your fault. They happen because the person’s brain is not working like it used to, and they can no longer make sense of the world in the way that you can.

Coping with dementia as a family

When someone is caring for a loved one with dementia, they may have less time and energy to spend with other members of their family. Their mood and behaviour may change too, because caring is a very difficult role. It can help to talk together as a family as much as possible. Talk about the things that worry you, the things that make you upset, the things that irritate you, and the things that make you laugh. The rest of your family may be feeling the same way too. By sharing your feelings and experiences, you can help each other.

This information was updated in December 2017 and is due for review in December 2019. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.