The Surprising Link Between Socialization and Memory

Staying social with in-home careWe’ve been sharing a plethora of benefits, both emotional and physical, to seniors remaining social, but here’s one that may surprise you: socialization may actually reduce cognitive decline. Since some of the top concerns of aging include the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, memory loss, and other cognitive problems, it’s certainly worth looking into the potential benefits of socialization in these areas. For example:

  •  The American Journal of Psychiatric Health published a study that showed social support helps protect against dementia.
  • The Seattle Longitudinal studies and MacArthur study suggest social activity increases cognitive functions and wards off the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
  • The Rush University Medical Center study found that very social seniors had a 70% reduction in their rate of cognitive decline when compared to their unsocial peers.
  • In a study testing over 6,000 seniors across about 5 1/2 years, seniors having frequent social engagement had a slower decline in intellectual and memory abilities. Good mental capacity was maintained best in those people who were the most socially active.

So how can you make sure your loved one stays social as he or she ages?

  • Find volunteer opportunities for him or her in the community.
  • Get the senior involved with a local senior center.
  • Join a group focused on activities you enjoy, such as playing cards or a book club.
  • Taking a cooking, pottery, or language class is a great way to interact and make new friends.
  • Joining a gym or fitness center can help the senior stay both physically and socially active.

Helping Syracuse seniors stay connected to the world around them is a main focus for us at At Home Independent Living. We love spending time socializing with our clients, providing transportation and companionship to outings and events, or simply talking together over a cup of tea at home. If your elderly loved one could use a caring friend, along with a helping hand around the house, our in-home care services are available for as much or as little time as you’d like. Call us at 315-579-4663 and let us know how we can help.