People living with dementia and their caregivers continue to experience social isolation and are impacted by consequential negative health impacts. Social recreational programs are community-oriented programs that aim to reduce the levels of social isolation among persons with dementia and their informal caregivers by providing the opportunity to strengthen their social network through an increased social participation in the community. The purpose of this chapter is to focus on the reduction of social isolation experienced by persons living with dementia and their caregivers through the use of social recreational programs as a recovery intervention method. A review of the existing literature was conducted to explore the impact of social isolation among the dementia community and to explore the role of social recreational programs as an exemplar of recovery intervention to promote social connectedness. Literature was examined through thematic analysis to identify the emerging themes. Two main themes were examined through the literature review: (1) the impact of social isolation on the health and emotional burden experienced by the persons living with dementia and their caregivers; and (2) the therapeutic components of social recreational programs that represent as a potential recovery intervention to promote the sense of social inclusion. This chapter highlighted the need for future research to examine the effectiveness of social recreational programs in helping the persons with dementia and their caregivers to combat the negative effects of social isolation, as well as to empower them in actively participating and being socially engaged in the community.
Part of the book: Advances in Dementia Research