Why Good Mental Health is Important for Alzheimer's/Dementia Patients
It's easy to focus on Alzheimer's/dementia The Disease. But it's a topic also very much centered around the discussion of mental health. Although this is about brain function degeneration, those with Alzheimer's/dementia may still be suffering from feelings of sadness, loneliness, anger, and so on. Emotions are still there. This is why socialization and stimulation are very important aspects of an overall wellness plan.
When I was a volunteer with Alzheimer's/dementia patients, I rarely saw family or friends come to visit their loved ones. Reasons included, "It's too hard to see them like this," "I live out of state," and "What's the point? They don't remember me anyway." That's where I came in, to provide the companionship they weren't getting. Identifying other volunteers doing what I was doing was even more rare. The one-on-one time was absent.
I wanted to provide a few links that explain why mental stimulation and social engagement are very important and beneficial to someone with cognitive issues.
To learn how social interaction can "reduce their use of antipsychotic drugs and improve their ability to care for themselves," read this.
Residents of care facilities may receive only 2 minutes of social interaction per day? Read this.
To understand how social isolation affects aging, read this.