The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050, the number of people living with some form of dementia will triple. If you’re currently caring for a senior loved one already affected by Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, you’ll naturally want to make efforts to slow the progression of the condition as much as possible. One way you may be able to do this is with regular socialization. Here’s why.
Retaining Cognitive Capabilities
The American Journal of Public Health recently published a study involving more than 2,000 women—a fact that’s significant, since women with dementia outnumber men by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. Results from the study showed a link between social engagement and the prevention of cognitive impairment, suggesting socialization can be beneficial when it comes to retaining cognitive capabilities.
Benefiting an Aging Brain
Common forms of dementia are largely caused by changes within the brain that affect the ability of key parts to function well. Social engagement can keep an aging brain active, and it’s this boost in stimulation that can minimize the damage caused by dementia. Plus, a Harvard University study found individuals who were socially active experienced half as much memory loss as those who were socially inactive.
A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for your loved one. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare. Philadelphia families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Boosting Mental Focus
While it’s perfectly natural to daydream, a lack of interaction can cause seniors with dementia to lose mental focus. Regular socialization—whether it involves activities like scrapbooking, playing games with a family member, getting some assistance while tending to a garden, or doing something else enjoyable that requires concentration—can keep the mind focused, which can ultimately make it easier to complete various daily tasks or hold meaningful conversations as the progression of dementia is slowed.
Aging adults with dementia often need assistance with the basic activities of daily living. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Enhancing the Sense of Time & Place
People with dementia sometimes lose track of the time of day or where they are at any given moment. When this happens, it’s easier for a senior with a dementia-related condition to randomly slip between past and present. This periodic drifting can make it difficult to interact or complete daily tasks. But by stimulating the brain with regular social interaction, a sense of time and place can be maintained by creating more structure. In turn, the progression of dementia may be slowed.
Preventing Loneliness & Isolation
As dementia progresses, seniors with the condition may begin to feel isolated or lonely, especially if it’s difficult to be socially active. What this can do is increase the risk of developing underlying issues with depression, stress, and anxiety. Conditions of this nature can compound changes in the brain already taking place because of dementia. Socializing on a regular basis can ward off loneliness and isolation, thus reducing the risk of developing additional mental health issues that can affect dementia’s progression.
Dementia can make life challenging for seniors, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional caregivers. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Philadelphia live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (215) 645-4663.