What are friends for?
If you spend time with friends when you are 60 your are less likely to develop dementia. Scientists believe that the onset of dementia can be delayed through friendship and social activity. An alternative view is that people who have started with dementia start to become less sociable. It is argued that people who socialise more are using their cognitive skills such as language and memory so this helps to build up resilience. It is estimated that 7% of people aged over 65 have dementia .
However, even more generally loneliness and isolation is a real issue for older people in the UK. What is also being found is that what is good for the heart is good for the brain – i.e. good diet, exercise, no smoking. Age UK urges us in today’s busy world we should also take a moment to be a friendly face, stop for a chat, and make a difference to the lives of those around us.
Independent Living Owner (Mark Booker) states “we care for people in their own homes and can find in the modern world older people are often isolated. They may have lost their partner, stopped driving, seen close friends pass away and relatives may not live locally. This means older people can spend time alone. Whilst we offer care in Chorley and Leyland it is becoming increasingly clear to us that many of our customers want social interaction from us and this is a growing service.”