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Daily social routines may help prevent dementia

Daily social routines may help prevent dementia


crossword puzzles, sudoku, ken-ken — All these games are said to help keep the mind young and agile. These activities have only one drawback.

Study after study shows that community is as important to cognitive health as diet and exercise. In fact, isolation may even increase the risk of dementia.

science in practice — Ah paper announced last week in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society saw data pulled from National Health and Aging Trend Survey It targets over 5,000 seniors. No adults were diagnosed with dementia at initiation. This study examined data on these participants from 2011 to 2020.

Almost a quarter of these adults were socially isolated, and that isolation was associated with a 28% higher risk of developing dementia. This risk remains high regardless of race or ethnicity.

“This is essentially a wake-up call for those unaware of this,” said the corresponding author. Thomas Cudjo, Professor of Geriatrics and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins University. “Social connections are important to our health.”

Why it’s a hack — Several hypotheses explain why social engagement can help reverse cognitive decline. For one thing, social isolation can reduce cognitive activity. In the long term, people with low cognitive activity are more likely to develop dementia. Socializing boosts cognition and helps keep your brain healthy 2008 survey They even describe social networks as “protection” against cognitive decline.

Socially isolated older people miss Learn about the resources that come with connecting with your community, from emotional support to access to health care. In constant loneliness, a person’s health can decline imperceptibly.

there is also evidence Constant isolation is associated with physical and mental health risk factors that contribute to dementia, such as hypertension, depression, and heart disease. 2020 meta-analysis lancet listed social isolation as one of nine risk factors for dementia, along with smoking and diabetes.

Impact on longevity — If low social contact ranks alongside physiological contact as a risk factor, it turns out to be as serious a threat as hypertension and depression. average person Because people live an additional four to eight years after being diagnosed with dementia, their quality of life tends to decline before death.

Cudjoe points out that social isolation needs to be addressed on an individual and organizational level. Those caring for older family members know that regular social interaction strengthens their mindset for dementia, so they use this information as motivation to make connections with older people. It can be maintained. Larger facilities like nursing homes also play a role in ensuring that residents are able to carry out their daily social activities.

For Cudjoe, it’s clear that the issue is personal. “My patients are at the center of this work, and they’re the ones who tell the questions I ask,” he says, Cudjoe. reverse“I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take care of them to learn about this.”

Hack score out of 10 —👵👵🏻👵🏽🧓🏼👴🏾🧓🏼🧓🏿 (7/10 socially concerned seniors)




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