A relatively new line of investigation in dementia is the impact of the disease on social functioning. Failure to interpret social cues correctly can lead to misunderstandings and consequently have a negative impact on relationships with family, friends and carers. This project will examine the dementia patient’s ability to recognise emotions and infer thoughts, feelings and intended behaviours of others, to determine whether these skills are related to quality of life and look at whether social functioning is related to other important outcomes such as quality of caregiver relationship and carer burden. It is hoped that this study will provide the information required to develop intervention strategies with the goal of improving the quality of life of people with dementia.
There are currently more than 342,000 people living with dementia in Australia, and an estimated 1.2 million people caring for them.