Objectives: Practices of social inclusion are important for maintaining the relationships of persons with dementia and are associated with positive clinical outcomes. The objective of this study was to explore the in-action practices of social inclusion in the activity center of a community-based organization.

Methods: This study applies an ethnographic approach – including participant observation, informal and semi-structured interviews – with persons with dementia (n = 31) and organization staff members (n = 9) to explore the in-action practices of social inclusion.

Results: Seven in-action practices of inclusion were identified: ensuring time for individual relationships, building schedules centered around flexibility, empowering decision-making, normalizing dementia-related behaviors, involving family members, soliciting and integrating persons with dementia’s feedback, and supporting persons with dementia to practice social inclusion.

Conclusions: Care providers of individuals with dementia can effectively facilitate active connections with them by continually soliciting and incorporating their feedback, and by supporting persons with dementia to practice inclusion and care for others.

Clinical Implications: Community-based organizations can be effective at supporting the active connection of individuals with dementia with others and should be promoted for individuals with mild to moderate dementia.


Motta-Ochoa Rossio, Leibing Annette, Bresba Paola, Williams Meghan, Shaffer Shaindl, Julien Omega, Racine Eric, Blain-Moraes Stefanie. “You’re part of us and we’re happy to have you here”: Practices of social inclusion in a community-based organization for persons with dementia. Clinical Gerontologist, 2021; https://doi.org/10.1080/07317115.2021.1891170.