Research shows that there is a large variation in the degree to which people are aware of and how they experience their dementia. Whereas some say that they more or less accept that the disease is part of the ageing process, others indicate finding it difficult to deal with the cognitive decline and the limitations this puts on their daily functioning. In summary, the problems that are experienced refer to: having to accept the increasing cognitive impairments and dependency on other people; maintaining an emotional balance; maintaining contact with family and friends and social roles; developing an adequate care relationship with healthcare professionals; and finally, dealing with an uncertain future and an institutional living environment. People can become insecure, their perceptions can change; they can experience anger, fear and frustration. As such, people with dementia face a set of adaptive tasks comparable to those experienced in chronic illness in general.