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The Benefits of Social Interaction for People with Dementia

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

Research shows seniors who regularly engage in social interactions are able to better maintain cognitive vitality, even if they’ve already been diagnosed with memory impairment. Lehigh Valley home care professionals highlight additional reasons seniors with dementia should stay socially engaged.

Social Activity May Help Prevent Cognitive Decline

study conducted at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago suggested seniors who experience frequent social interaction with others fare better cognitively than their counterparts who are less socially active. The rate of cognitive decline in the study participants who were socially active was an astounding 70 percent less than those who weren’t socially active.

Social Stimulation Can Yield Physical Benefits

Besides cognitive benefits, social stimulation can yield physical benefits in seniors too. For instance, engaging in social activities can lead to:

  • Decreased blood pressure levels
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular problems
  • Reduced risk of arthritic conditions

Engaging in social activities often necessitates an increase in physical activities. Socially stimulated seniors also tend to eat more nutritiously. 

Seniors with Dementia Sometimes Communicate Through Activities

During the later stages of dementia, elderly people sometimes communicate to others through actions rather than spoken words. For example, they might shuffle their feet across a floor in order to communicate anger or excitement. If your elderly loved one behaves similarly, communicate with them frequently while:

  • Listening to music
  • Dancing
  • Cooking
  • Sweeping

While they might not respond to you, the act of listening and comprehending the things you’re communicating will stimulate your relative’s brain.

Social Support Allows Dementia Patients to Maintain Independence

In order to maintain their confidence and sense of purpose in life, seniors with dementia need social simulation. They often benefit from having compassionate, listening loved ones who hear their frustrations and lend support. A dementia caregiver in the Lehigh Valley can provide emotional support and companionship as well as help with daily activities if families are unable to accommodate their loved one’s care needs.

If your elderly loved one recently received a dementia diagnosis, know that you don’t have to face the future alone. Reach out to Home Care Assistance to learn more about our live-in, part-time, and respite care in the Lehigh Valley, which ensures your loved one has the additional support he or she needs while family caregivers take a break to recharge. For more information, call our office at 484-350-3874 today and schedule a free in-home consultation.