Can the mental capacity of an Alzheimer’s patient improve when they have an active social circle? This remains to be one of the ongoing studies in providing quality care for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
A published study of the American Journal of Public Health shows that having a social network can indeed improve the cognitive functions of elderly women. This study followed at least 2,200 senior women aged 78 and older. They were members of a health maintenance organization at the time of the study. In the four years of observing and interviewing the elderly women, researchers have found that those who have a bigger social network also have a lesser risk for dementia and have even delayed their cognitive impairment.
The observation includes the following benefits of social life for seniors who are at risk of Alzheimer’s:
- Quality conversations
Seniors who have strong social connections have people with whom they can always interact with. These great conversations give them the opportunity to exercise their cognitive and communicative skills, thus sharpening their brain’s health even more. Conversations are seen to provide a way for seniors to think about what they will have to say and how they can respond to topics thrown at them.
- Healthy lifestyle
Seniors who are surrounded by friends also tend to engage in healthy activities. They tend to engage in exercise activities together such as sports, walking, and other physically enhancing events. Exercise has been known to delay the neural changes in the brain, which are a contributory factor in the development of Alzheimer’s.
- Mental exercises
Socially-active seniors are also able to enjoy mentally-stimulating activities with their friends such as number games, word puzzles, and other brain-challenging sports. These frequent mental exercises have helped seniors to work on their cognitive function, thus reducing their chances to acquire Alzheimer’s.
- Reduced loneliness
Like a domino effect, seniors who have social circles tend to have more active lifestyles and rarely feel isolated. When they’re not lonely, their stress hormones are not excessively triggered resulting in better brain function.
Healthcare professionals who need to provide Alzheimer’s care are required to understand the social needs of these patients. When they are properly trained for these principles, they can serve the clients with quality friendship and companionship that translates to an overall quality service.
Does your healthcare agency need a further boost in Alzheimer’s care? We have a nursing home administrator in Texas City, Texas who can assist in evaluating the needs of your services in order to best serve your clients. Consult with us at K&K Consulting to be guided on providing quality care to your Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
If you would like to inquire about our training programs, talk with our administrator in training in Texas to set you off this path of quality care. Refer us to a friend who is also looking to upgrade their healthcare certification and licensing.