The Benefits of Socialization For Those With Memory Loss
Does Your Loved One Feel Isolated?
Find A Sense Of Belonging Through Socialization
We know that socialization is important for humans of all ages. Research has proven that spending time with friends, neighbors and family members in the golden years can help boost seniors’ quality of life, physical health and mental health.
For some seniors – particularly those with memory loss – there may be fewer opportunities to socialize as they age. Whether driving and/or getting out of the house has become more difficult, their circle of friends has become smaller, their contact with former work colleagues has decreased or their memory impairment interferes with participating in activities, older adults tend to socialize less as they age.
Seniors with good social support systems in place can have reduced stress, fewer instances of anxiety and depression, and decreased risk for some physical health concerns. Particularly for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, engaging with other people in social situations has been shown to have many holistic benefits and may even slow the progress of these conditions. One study found that cognitive abilities declined 70 percent more slowly in individuals who had frequent social connections in comparison with those who had little social contact.
The strong correlation between social interaction and the health and well-being of seniors who choose to be social has been recognized by the National Institute on Aging. Socialization supports cognitive health, and while the exact function is not yet completely understood, individuals with a strong social network generally retain more memories than peers who are more isolated.
At Longleaf Bee Cave, we incorporate daily socialization through not only companionship and conversation but also activity. Residents in our memory care neighborhood are able to realize the many health benefits of being social by taking part in meaningful interactions and purposeful programming. We offer therapeutic technologies and innovative techniques to bring regular socialization into the daily lives of residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia at our community.
We also know that isolation can have serious physiological implications, not just cognitive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seniors who are chronically lonely have a 29 percent increased risk of heart disease and a 32 percent increased risk of stroke. Longleaf Bee Cave works to counteract these various risks and enhance residents’ quality of life. Surrounded by strong social connections, residents can benefit from stress reduction, improved physical health and fewer psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.