Alzheimer’s diagnosis, dementia decreases social activity: study

A recent study examined how being recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias affects social networks, social engagement, and social support. Although the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is believed to be quite crucial, a new study from Rutgers University has found that the diagnosis can have an unintended impact on social relationships and activity. social.

The research has been published in the “Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Journal”. “Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias is a public health priority that has a significant impact on people with these diseases, their families and society,” said lead author Takashi Amano, assistant professor in the department. of Social Work at Rutgers University in Newark.

“In recent years, healthcare professionals have wanted to diagnose people earlier because of benefits like better long-term care planning and less anxiety. While there are benefits to being diagnosed earlier, the negative consequences can include an increased risk of suicide or asking a physician to assisted suicide, “Amano added. The study found that the social network and the A person’s social support did not increase after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, which can be particularly problematic for disadvantaged populations who had fewer resources.

According to the study – which found that such a diagnosis reduced time spent talking on the phone, having face-to-face contact, and attending sporting and other social events – more than 6 million people in the States -Unis have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other related diseases. dementias in 2020. Researchers used data from the Health and Retirement Study, a national study that surveys adults and their spouses aged 51 and over. Researchers followed adults in 2012, 2014, and 2016.

Those who were diagnosed in 2014 were compared to those who did not. Researchers measured their social relationships two years after their diagnosis, looking at social and informal engagement, such as meeting and talking on the phone, and formal engagement, such as volunteering, participating in educational programs, playing sports. or social events with clubs or not religious. organizations. The social network understood the number of close connections a person had. Social support was perceived as positive or negative. The results indicated that being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias may have unintended impacts on social relationships, including decreased formal and informal social engagement.

The researchers suggested that practitioners and policy makers be aware of the consequences, identify strategies to mitigate the negative impact of receiving a diagnosis, and look for ways to mobilize support networks after a diagnosis. “Social relationships are a critical feature of our quality of life and can alleviate cognitive decline,” said co-author Addam Reynolds, doctoral candidate at the Rutgers School of Social Work-New Brunswick.

“Given the lack of a cure for these diseases, we need to focus on ways in which people can maintain or improve their quality of life after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias,” said added Addam. The researchers said it might be particularly important to promote informal social engagement – face-to-face and over the phone – which is more accessible than formal social engagement. (ANI)

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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