One of my friends from Virginia (thanks Rodney!!) sent me a link to a very interesting article about a new study regarding Alzheimer's disease. It claims that people who are lonely are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's.
I know there is a lot to be said about socialization in the assisted living model and this study speaks to that a little bit. I see many seniors benefit from participating in all the activites that are at their fingertips once they make a move out of their otherwise isolated home. Activities include anything in my book by the way - sitting in the living room and gossiping, meals, talking to the care aids, hanging by the front desk to check out who is coming and going. Stuff to keep the mind active, however boring they may sound to you and me. If you were at home just sitting in front of the TV you would thrive on the conversations to be had during an ice cream social.
This study talks more about seniors who didn't really have a social support system for a long time before the disease.
I think (and I am not a doctor, and wouldn't even be able to play one on TV..) that socialization and human contact helpful in slowing it down. But that's just what I think. What do you think?
The link to the full article can be found here: BBC News - Lonliness link with Alzheimer's