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Our Connections and Living with Rare Dementia

Connections

People have various connections or relationships in their life. These connections include our social relationships with family, friends or club membership, connections with the natural environment such as taking a walk in the park or going for a swim, and connections with ourselves when we spend time thinking, reading a book or listening to music. Various and good quality connections facilitate positive physical, social, emotional and spiritual health, promote resilience, and contribute to our overall feelings of well-being.

An eco-map is an easy and interactive tool that permits you to talk about connection, locate a person and family within their social context and visualize all relationships whatever they may be. Eco-maps also visually explore the quality of these connections, the exchange of energy or resources to and from connections, any desired relationships that might be absent but beneficial, and any strong connections that may need to be supported or strengthened.

Below is an interactive example of an eco-map, based on an imagined couple, Thomas and Emma: Thomas is 66 years old and was diagnosed with fronto-temporal dementia three years ago. He lives with his wife Emma and their dog Mav. These are their connections or relationships. Whilst Thomas and Emma are not real people, this eco-map and quotations are based on research data with a number of couples living with dementia. This is an amalgamation of their stories. You can hover over and click different circles and arrows to learn more.

Ecomap

Lines
Straight Line

Strong Connection

Curvy Line

Stressful Connection

Dotted Line

Weak Connection

Arrows
Arrow Both

Reciprocal sharing of energy or resources with a connection

Arrow Right

Energy or resources FROM a connection

Arrow Left

Energy or resources TO a connection