When seniors are diagnosed with dementia, their level of social activity is often one of the first things to decrease. Many people forget humans are social beings who need friends and social interaction regardless of their mental condition. Whether your aging loved one visits with friends or relies on a trusted caregiver for companionship, socialization can offer numerous benefits to your parent who is living with dementia.
Preserves Memory Retention
Research has found seniors who have large social networks preserve more memory even after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. A 2004 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association theorizes socializing reduces dementia and memory-related symptoms by keeping the brain active.
Reduces the Risk of Depression
Seniors with dementia often live with other mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. Depression can be particularly difficult for a person with dementia to fight without help. A 2008 study by Dr. Lisa F. Berkman of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found even minor social engagement could prevent seniors from developing depression.
Mental and emotional challenges are common for many aging adults, but they don’t have to manage them alone. Senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
A Dutch study found 20 percent of seniors who lived alone reported being lonely, suggesting loneliness is linked to daily interactions rather than living arrangements. A California study of elderly women found those with active social lives were less likely to develop memory or cognitive issues.
Regular visits from friends and family members can reassure and calm aging adults who have dementia. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Sacramento Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Boosts Quality of Life
Seniors with dementia tend to lead generally happier and healthier lives when they have friends. A study conducted by Dr. Marie-Jeanne Kergoat at the University of Montreal found seniors were more likely to eat filling and nutritious meals and exercise more often when they did these activities in the company of friends or loved ones.
Prevents Physical Health from Worsening
A lack of socialization has been linked to an increase in high blood pressure and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease and strokes. Interacting with friends, caregivers, and family members can prevent seniors from experiencing the stress and depression that can seriously impact physical health and wellbeing.
Promotes Cognitive Function
A 2006 study conducted by the Rush University Medical Center discovered social interaction with close friends or family members makes the brain function more effectively. Socializing preserves and promotes healthy cognitive function and helps seniors continue thinking logically even when their brains are affected by dementia. When seniors are involved in social situations, they have to listen to conversations, consider what’s being said, and respond. While this can become more difficult as dementia progresses, social interaction still requires the brain to make these connections, stimulating pathways in the brain that would otherwise remain inactive. This type of mental activity strengthens neural connections, resulting in enhanced cognitive health.
A professional dementia caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can also be a wonderful asset. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Sacramento families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (916) 706-0169 today.