Weaving social reality around the grandparent/great-grandparent with dementia to maintain relational presence: A verbal and non-verbal dementia interactions model

Anca M. Miron, Ashley E Thompson, Alexandria R. Ebert, Susan H. McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


We proposed a dementia interactions model based on analyses of five focus groups with grandchildren of grandparents with dementia. Interactions with their grandparent with dementia motivate grandchildren to maintain connection with a grandparent who is relationally present. To do so, they weave a social reality around the grandparent. To help the grandparent remain connected, grandchildren engage in scripts and routines and employ three intertwined psychological processes: perspective taking, vigilance, and knowledge about the grandparent's preferences, personality, state of mind, and context. Grandchildren use four relationship anchors to help the grandparent remain relationally present: family members, meaningful sensory objects and activities, physical space/context, and themselves. Implications for improving social interactions with close others with dementia are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2244-2260
Number of pages17
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2017



  • dementia
  • grandchildren
  • grandparent
  • great-grandparents
  • interactions
  • non-verbal

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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