Benefits of socialization in dementia

Socialization is important for all of us. Throughout our lives, we interact with friends, family, and strangers on a daily basis. We are a social species and our brains are designed to yearn for relationships and other social interactions. The need and the habit of mixing with people stays till the end because it comes naturally to us.

This also holds true for our loved ones with dementia. It is important that our loved ones continue to have meaningful social encounters, even as their disease progresses. It is true that our loved one may have trouble retaining their memories or remembering the people who were once very important for them. Yet, he or she can still recognize the attention, feelings, moods of others and affection. This in itself is a comforting feeling.

Interacting with people who have dementia can often be the hardest for those who know them best, specifically friends and family, who knew what they were like “before.” Many of these people don’t know what to do or how they can interact with someone who might not even recognize them anymore. So often our loved ones with dementia are left with fewer friends and lesser people who communicate with them on a daily basis. But various studies have proved that staying socially active in late life is very important even for the people who develop dementia.

Benefits of socialization in dementia

According to a 2008 study of elderly women which was published in the American Journal of Public Health, older women who had larger group of friends and interacted with them much were less likely to develop dementia than women with small social circles.

Another study from 2011 that followed elderly with average age of 79 for about five years showed that being more social in old age can reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Socialization has long been considered an important aspect of dementia care. Sure the person with dementia forgets the people and who they were for them once, but it is always a good feeling for everyone to have someone visit them. Love, care and social engagement help people with dementia even when the disease has progressed.

There other studies that show socialization might help in the management of the symptoms of dementia.

Some of the general benefits of socialization in dementia are discussed below:

1) Feeling of belonging

When a person interacts with others, even if the interaction is just small talk, it does have the ability to stimulate the brain, giving the person a sense of belonging and some degree of self-worth.

2) Improves brain health

As we discussed earlier about the studies that proves that having more people around to socialize decreases the chance of getting dementia and also delays the progression process. Anything that we repress troubles us more. However, when you have somebody to talk to and share your things with you feel better and the same applies for the people with dementia.

Moreover talking to someone involves a set of different processes that has to be in place or that goes on when we socialize. It involves our decision making skills, the sense of judgment, our physical senses to understand emotions and feelings.

3) Less loneliness

Socialization provides a sense of normal structure and order to the life of an individual with memory loss. Since there are various stigmas and stereotypes around the disease, socialization helps them stay connected with the life that they had once.

Also according to various studies seniors who undergo consistent loneliness are at greater risk of developing dementia.

4) Reduces anxiety and depression

A busy schedule and things to be occupied with, gives the elderly a sense of productivity and occupation. When the people with dementia have things to do and means to keep them-self engaged, their mind also stays stimulated and occupied with the work. Simple things like a social walk in the garden or a call from a friend works well in keeping their anxiety and depression level at bay.

Many more benefits can be derived from keeping your loved one with dementia socially engaged. Different people take things differently and the effect they have on themselves also varies but few things stays the same for all. And one such thing is socialization—it helps in improving quality of life in multiple ways for people with dementia.

We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation.

Our Dementia Care services are

Dementia Cafe, Sector 57 Gurgaon –
From initial stage to advanced stage, all individuals with dementia feel the need for social interaction at times. Our Dementia Cafe is a safe and friendly place for your loved one with dementia to chill and socialize. The cafe is a place where they will find a fun activity, a warm chair and companionship. Every Tuesday and Thursday, 4-5.30PM.
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Cognitive Wellness Programme, Sector 57  Gurgaon  –
Samvedna’s Cognitive Wellness Programme is designed for seniors with mild cognitive impairment, early dementia or Parkinson’s, and elderly lacking in enthusiasm and motivation. The aim is to stimulate the mind of the elderly to slow the progression of the disease or impairment. The sessions are 3 days a week, 11AM-1PM.
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At-home services –
Dementia intervention activities by trained Care Specialists (already mentioned above). These services are available in Delhi NCR
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Please call us for more info – Delhi NCR – 98184 21446, 124 4229659

Dementia Support Group –
Our Dementia Support group in Delhi NCR and Guwahati is a platform for caregivers to share feelings and support each other.
More –
Please call us for more info – Delhi NCR – 98184 21446, 124 4229659

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