Social Interaction is the Most Important Factor for Seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Social Interaction is the Most Important Factor for Seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer’s

For most people, interacting or serving seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s is not an easy task. Therefore, it is quite understandable why people with dementia are often ignored or isolated by people around them. However, social interaction is in fact the very thing that will ease the process of serving a person with dementia on a daily basis.

A study by the Exeter Medical School in England found that at least one hour of social interaction per week is effective in significantly increasing the quality of life of a person with dementia. The conclusion being that social interaction is a critical factor for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Research-based benefit of social interaction for Alzheimer’s

This study that involved more than 800 senior with dementia from 69 senior homes in England found that an increase in communication time with residents increased residents’ wellness when combined with the needed care. In addition to the increase in quality of life, social interaction time also reduced agitation and aggressive behavior of residents.

The researcher, Professor Clive Ballard stated, “While many care homes are excellent, standards still vary hugely. We have previously found that the average amount of social interaction for people with dementia was just two minutes a day. It’s hardly surprising when that has a knock-on effect on quality of life and agitation.”

The trial, funded by the National Institute of Health Research, ran between January 2013 and September 2015. People with dementia were randomly picked to take part in the program for nine months or continue with their usual treatment. At the end of the period they were assessed for quality of life, agitation and other symptoms.

Two “care-staff champions” at each home were designated to perform simple tasks such as talking to residents about their interests and decisions around their own care.

The results showed statistically significant improvements in residents included in the program, when compared with those who were not in it. The benefits were found to be greatest in those with moderately severe dementia.

The research, led by the University of Exeter, King’s College London and Oxford Health NHS foundation trust, is believed to be the largest non-pharmacological randomized control trial in people with dementia living in care homes.

Subsequent challenges

Dr Jane Fossey of Oxford Health NHS foundation trust said: “Taking a person-centred approach is about getting to know each resident as an individual – their interests and preferences – and reflecting these in all aspects of care. It can improve the lives of the person themselves and it can be rewarding for carers too.”

There are an estimated 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. It has been described as the biggest health challenge facing the country, with the figure expected to increase to more than 1 million by 2025 and reach 2 million by 2051, according to Alzheimer’s Society.

Doug Brown, the director of research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This study shows that training to provide this type of individualized care, activities and social interactions can have a significant impact on the wellbeing of people living with dementia in care homes. It also shows that this kind of effective care can reduce costs, which the stretched social care system desperately needs.”

As a senior residential and services provider, RUKUN Senior Care offers Dementia Support and Nursing Care. Services are focused on a resident’s four dimensions of wellness: physical, mental, social, and spiritual. With an intimate environment filled with interaction, RUKUN Senior Care offers a comfortable life for seniors requiring higher level of attention in their daily lives.

RUKUN Senior Care
Phone: 021 8795 1525


About RUKUN Senior Living

We believe that happiness and comfort are the keys to a person’s quality of life. So, RUKUN Senior Living has offered a range of residential facilities and services for seniors to support all their needs – from seniors with an independent and dynamic lifestyle to those who need assistance with daily activities. 

The range of service options available provide flexibility to adjust to a senior’s needs. For seniors who prefer to live on their own or with family members, there is: 

  • RUKUN Senior Club
    for independent seniors to participate in a full day schedule of activities. 
  • Dementia Day Program
    for senior with dementia to participate in a series of activities and interactions designed to optimize their day. Available at Darmawan Park, Sentul dan Dementia Support Center, Cipete.
  • RUKUN Home Care for seniors who need profesional caregiving in the home (Service the JaBoDeTaBek area).

Those interested in residing at RUKUN Senior Living, Sentul, can enjoy a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) offering a range of residential options and integrated services as a solution for each phase of a senior’s life:

  • The Villas offering the option of ownership of a private, modern, and functional villa for seniors with a dynamic and independent lifestyle. Live worry-free with the complete range of available optional facilities and services.
  • RUKUN Senior Living Resort
    with complete facilities and a range of supporting services including Activity, wellness monitoring, food and beverage, housekeeping dan
    laundry, and Assisted Living services. The complete facilities include:
    Activity Room, Game Room, Art Room, Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi, Fishing Lake, Jogging Path, and Gazebos.
  • RUKUN Senior Care
    offering an intimate facility and services for seniors needing Dementia Support and Nursing Care. Includes activity program, 24-hour wellness staff and doctor on staff.
Phone: 021 8795 1525

Social Interaction is the Most Important Factor for Seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer’s

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