773 E. Haverford Road • Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

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Alzheimer’s and Social Engagement: How Social Interactions Can Improve Your Loved One’s Quality of Life

According to the Mayo Clinic article, Alzheimer’s Risk Factors, studies have found a connection between a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and an individual’s lifelong involvement in mentally and socially stimulating activities and regular social interactions. While scientists cannot yet completely explain this link, a common theory is that using your brain develops more cell-to-cell connections, which protect your brain against the impact of Alzheimer’s-related changes.

How Social Connectivity Benefits Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s

George Salloom, Executive Director of Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr, says, “Just as social activities and regular human interactions have been shown to maintain brain health in older individuals and potentially stave off the onset of memory disorders, these activities have also proven helpful in improving the quality of life for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Research on the subject suggests that social connectivity can improve your loved one’s mental capabilities as well as their physical and emotional state.”

“Specifically, social engagement has been shown to reduce their stress, frustration and agitation and to provide a greater sense of calm and well-being. For this reason, leading residential memory care assisted living communities devote a significant portion of their programming to social activities that support pleasant and enjoyable interactions. The good news for at-home caregivers is that a variety of socially-stimulating activities can be provided in the home environment as well.”

Engagement Activities in the Home

The article, “Encouraging Engagement” asserts that keeping your loved one involved with physical, mental and social activities will create positive experiences that diminish the stress and unwanted behaviors that often accompany Alzheimer's disease. These activities can also build their self-esteem, enhance their physical strength and help them with activities of daily living.

Research has shown that talking to loved ones with Alzheimer's disease about the happy times and pleasant memories in their lives can create positive emotional experiences, reduce stress and provide a better quality of life. The key to sharing beneficial activities with them is to be flexible and creative and to engage them in ways that match their personal interests and preferences in life.

Examples of Beneficial Engagement Activities

According to the Alzheimer’s Association and other leading memory care resources, there are a wide variety of social engagement activities that can be helpful. Again, try to tailor the activities to your loved one’s particular interests. Examples include:

  • Listening to favorite music together
  • Art and drawing activities
  • Visits with a friendly pet
  • Reminiscing over fond memories (e.g. looking through old photo albums or watching old family movies)
  • Taking walks together and doing simple exercises
  • Visiting favorite places together
  • Sharing in recreational activities, such as working together in the garden

By taking the time to involve your loved one in activities that connect with them and their past life, you can help them to feel more relaxed and also improve their overall sense of well-being.

Engaging Days. Meaningful Moments.

Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Our brand-new Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr community provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comforts of home. Our community touches hearts and changes lives.

Helping Families Be “Family,” Again

Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family. 

If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.

If, and when, the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again. For more information, please call Sharon at (484) 380-5400, or contact us online.

Disclaimer: This information should not be construed as Impressions at Bryn Mawr Terrace or Main Line Senior Care Alliance offering legal advice. For legal advice, please consult your attorney.