Ventura Townehouse

Assisted living: How assisted living provides social atmosphere to slow Alzheimer’s disease.

by Ventura Townehouse Admin

Assisted living: How assisted living provides social atmosphere to slow Alzheimer’s disease.

Loneliness can be defined in many different ways. A common way to identify this state of mind is as “a state of solitude or being alone”. Loneliness however, does not necessarily mean being without anyone’s company. Even if you are amongst a gathering of people you might find yourself feeling lonely. As such, loneliness is identified as the perception that one is alone and isolated and is thus considered as a state of mind.  A recent trend can be seen in an increasing amount of studies that link loneliness and the impact of a negative social atmosphere with a plethora of diseases and illnesses. According to the New York Times “loneliness leads to poorer physical and mental health”. On January 31st, 2011 BBC News stated loneliness as a hidden killer of elderly.

Social deprivation and resulting loneliness may be identified as a symptom of depression in old age.

According to Derbyshire, it can be more dangerous than smoking. A large amount of studies conducted on identifying the impact of loneliness on older adults show that a high degree of loneliness can lead to increased cognitive decline resulting in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Assisted living: How assisted living provides social atmosphere to slow Alzheimer’s disease.

Assisted living communities provide the right social atmosphere to help residents feel genuinely part of a social community, rather than just around people.

Activity programs and social gatherings create a sincere collection of individuals who establish meaningful personal connections which can help to ward off the effects of Alzheimer’s disease as the research in this article is demonstrating.

The impact of loneliness and its association with Alzheimer’s disease.

A study conducted among 823 elders living in senior citizen facilities in and around Chicago who were free from dementia, assessed the impact of loneliness and its association with Alzheimer’s disease. The study was conducted and followed up annually and at death, a uniform postmortem exam was conducted on the brain. The results from the study showed a total of 76 subjects that developed Alzheimer’s disease and the risk of development was more than doubled in the people who were identified as lonely when compared to those who were not lonely.

Even though loneliness is a common human emotion, it is unique and different to each individual.

It is a complex emotion with no single cause, therefore treatment is quite different and requires a good understanding of the individual. For example, a child looking to make friends require a different approach to resolving the problem when compared to an elder who has lost his/her spouse and trying to cope with that. However, the results from all studies suggest that minimizing loneliness and providing a thriving social atmosphere can do wonders when it comes to cognitive health and preventing diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

This has been taken into consideration in many modern assisted living facilities and they provide a positive social environment that helps ward off the negative impacts of social isolation such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They provide a large number of social activities that is catered towards each individual’s preferences and ensure that a social circle with positive relationships are formed and maintained in order to provide a better quality life to their members.

Ventura Townehouse provides creates a sincere social atmosphere.

If you’re searching for an assisted living community in Ventura County which will not only provide high quality personal care for your family, but will also provide a sincere social atmosphere in which they can enjoy their retirement with like minded peers, please consider touring our community or contact us for more information.

 

References

Derbyshire D. Loneliness is a killer: It's as bad for your health as alcoholism, smoking and over-eating, say scientists. Health mail online, updated 9:36 GMT. 2010. Jul 28, [Last accessed on 2013, Feb 22]. Available from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1298225/Loneliness-killer-Its-bad-health-alcoholism-smoking-eating-say-scientists

Radowitz JV. Loneliness can increase Alzheimer's risk’ The Independent. 2012. Dec 11, [Last accessed on 2013, Feb 22]. Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/loneliness-can-increase-alzheimers-risk-8405166 . [Ref list]

Loneliness in relation to suicide ideation and parasuicide: a population-wide study. Stravynski A, Boyer R Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2001 Spring; 31(1):32-40.

Loneliness and risk of Alzheimer disease. Wilson RS, Krueger KR, Arnold SE, Schneider JA, Kelly JF, Barnes LL, Tang Y, Bennett DA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007 Feb; 64(2):234-40.

Grant VJ. Return to the community: Away back for isolated and depressed elderly people. Paper presented to International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Zagreeb. In: Jerrome D, editor. Good Company: An anthropological study of old people in groups. Edinburgh University Press; 1992.