It can improve daily life and reduce some of the physical symptoms of the disease.
There’s nothing like a good chat with an old friend. And if you’re living in a care facility, a daily conversation with staff can be enriching.
Unfortunately, research shows that for many people in this very situation, they normally get a measly two minutes of social interaction a day. Not only does this sound incredibly lonely, but it can also take a toll on quality of life.
Thankfully, researchers are finding new ways to combat this.
A study done by researchers from the University of Exeter found that person-centered activities combined with just one hour a week of social interaction can improve quality of life and reduce agitation for people with dementia living in care homes.
“Care home staff are under a lot of pressure-it’s a really tough job. It’s a challenging environment for both residents living with dementia and staff,” says Joanne McDermid, of King’s College London, a researcher involved in other dementia care studies.
Simply talking with residents about their interests and the decisions being made around their care makes a difference.
“Taking a person-centered approach is about really getting to know the resident as an individual. It can make a massive difference to the person themselves and their carers,” said Dr. Jane Fossey from the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.
In some areas, up to 70% of residents in care facilities are living with dementia.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 10 people in America over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s dementia.