Lower Your Dementia Risk by Socializing with Others

Courtesy of morguefile.com
Laguna Woods, California
February 18, 2018 6:53pm CST
Did you know you could lower your risk of dementia simply by getting out of the house and doing something enjoyable with other people? Socializing is an essential component in your efforts to continue to think clearly and stay healthy for your entire life. As part of the brain health class I am taking, I have learned that diet, exercise and sleep are all important in reducing our risk of dementia and Alzheimer's. Another important factor is socializing! Many senior citizens become isolated as they age. They may lose the ability to drive, some of their friends and their spouse may have died, and socializing may become more difficult. However, it is worth the effort. Isolation is linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, dementia and early death. How Can You Become more Social? Visit friends as much as you can, and call them when you cannot visit. Stay in touch. Volunteer at your place of worship, the local school, your community hospital and any other charity which you care about. Well known actress and comedian, Betty White, volunteers for the Cat Sanctuary in Laguna Beach. You are never to old to find a way to help someone. Take a class in almost anything and get to know the other students ... whether it is water aerobics, yoga, photography, computer classes or anything else which interests you. It is great way to make friends. Join a club ... book club, dinner club, quilting club, movie club or anything else which sounds fun. MeetUp. com is a great way to find clubs in your community. If you can't find a club, start your own. Find a Senior Center in your neighborhood. They have classes, lunches, dances and parties, with something going on almost all day long. If you do these things consistently the rest of your life, you are likely to live longer, think clearer and give meaning to your remaining years. Bottom line: Put aside the computer, call a friend, go out to lunch, take a class, have some fun, and laugh! Your brain will thank you!
20 people like this
16 responses
• United States
19 Feb
hmm, since i aint got no friends any longer, can't drive i reckon i'll jest succumb to such :( 'nless ya can consider gettin' out with the ponies 'n other critters 's socializin'? aint been able to do much 'f that neither.
7 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@crazyhorseladycx - Yes! Animals are very helpful in reducing dementia risk, along with the things I have posted in my other articles about diet, exercise and other factors which reduce our risk of dementia.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (55052)
• United Kingdom
19 Feb
Well surely it counts a little bit to socialise on sites like this? It helps to keep the brain active in my opinion. All your points are good though.
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@jaboUK - The same thought has occurred to me. I like MyLot and learning from people in other countries. I even like to socialize with my family and friends on Facebook. It keeps me in touch with people I rarely see.
1 person likes this
@Maria24 (2160)
• United States
19 Feb
Wow thanks for the information. I'm not that social around people
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@Maria24 - This is a good reason to start!
1 person likes this
@Maria24 (2160)
• United States
19 Feb
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (177366)
• Switzerland
19 Feb
The important is to keep your brain active, it does not matter how.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@LadyDuck - Yes, it is very important to keep our brains active in one way or another ... and keep our bodies active, too!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (177366)
• Switzerland
20 Feb
@DeborahDiane The right exercise is important. Those in their late 70's who go jogging most of the time create their own problems.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Feb
@LadyDuck - I have noticed that people often cause their own problems in a lot of areas, usually because they make poor decisions or are unwilling to accept reasonable limitations. People jogging in their late 70's is a good example of that.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (37844)
• United States
19 Feb
Lots of great ideas here on how to socialize more. Since I am a stay at home mom I rarely see anyone in person. My socialization consists of mylot and Facebook.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@shaggin - MyLot and Facebook are good places to start. As your kids get older, they will draw you out and you'll get to meet the mothers of their friends.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (37844)
• United States
19 Feb
I have friends but we are all busy in our own lives I rarely see anyone. My son does cyber school so I am home with him all day. My daughter is in public school. They are 13 and 10. I won't be able to be a stay at home mom forever so when I work I may get a little more socialization. I am so shy though I think I want to do factory work where I don't have to deal with customers etc.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Feb
@shaggin - Yes, I understand that people can be very shy. Even if you just connect with one or two other people and make an effort to see them or speak to them on the phone regularly, that can make a big difference in your happiness and mental clarity.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Feb
i just go out and chill myself i talk to my daughter at home. i dont talk to judgemental extroverts out there, nevermind i just need fresh air and essentials
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@Strawberry18 - Staying in touch with your daughter is very helpful.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Feb
@DeborahDiane yeah but she speaks to her classmates at school, bullying is not tolerated there. im happy she can be an extrovert sometimes.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Feb
@Strawberry18 Yes, it is good to be an extrovert sometimes.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (45398)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Feb
I have started to socialize less and less as I get older because I realized people are idiots and I hate dealing with stupid people! lol Seriously though, I do need to get out and socialize more. I used to be one of those people who was the life of the party, but now I don't go out much anymore, I choose to stay home and spend time with my family. It also doesn't help that I work two jobs and I'm always exhausted!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (45398)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Feb
@DeborahDiane I think another part of it is that as we get older and more mature, we realize who our true friends are, and then we tend to focus on them and not on the masses.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
23 Feb
@moffittjc - Yes, I agree. Socializing is not a matter of how many friends you have, but the quality of the connections to the people we spend time with.
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
19 Feb
Great to get out when you can and if not you can be on places like this or read about them. Listening to music reduces anxiety also.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Feb
Yes, listening to music is a nice way to reduce anxiety.
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
20 Feb
@DeborahDiane I listen to a lot of piano and guitar and violin music to calm down after hectic days.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Feb
@lovinangelsinstead21 - That is a great idea.
1 person likes this
@sallypup (28651)
• Moses Lake, Washington
19 Feb
In order to get much of what you suggest, I will need to move. I may be doing that within 5 years, soon as hubby's job disappears. He retires and our main ties to this community will be as consumers. The senior center does not have very many classes that I would willingly sit through so that's out. Right now my main social time is with folks like you. I am not a church goer and don't intend to start just cause I need to socialize.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@sallypup - Perhaps you could move to a retirement community, similar to the one where our member @JamesHxstatic lives. They have lots of social events and activities like ping-pong. Anything like that is very beneficial.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
19 Feb
@DeborahDiane @sallypup has too many animals she says and loves them all. I can't blame her.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@JamesHxstatic - Animals can also do a lot to help people feel needed, so there is a great deal of benefit to them.
@dgobucks226 (13838)
23 Feb
Very informative post! That is so true about socialization being so important as we grow older and throughout life. Although medications have been introduced to treat the disease nothing replaces exercise and keeping the mind sharp through social interaction.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
24 Feb
You are so right. No medication can make up for not taking care of ourselves.
1 person likes this
@dgobucks226 (13838)
25 Feb
1 person likes this
@just4him (127288)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
19 Feb
I can see how that would be effective.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Feb
@just4him - There is a lot of good information in this class about how to improve our lives in general, not just how to prevent dementia.
1 person likes this
@just4him (127288)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
21 Feb
@DeborahDiane I can see that.
1 person likes this
@Plethos (10977)
• United States
19 Feb
I think ill just stay somewhat anti-social. I enjoy talking to myself.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@Plethos - Talking to yourself can be very satisfying! At least you are not likely to get into political arguments!
1 person likes this
@Plethos (10977)
• United States
19 Feb
@DeborahDiane - thats what id like to think also
1 person likes this
@Shavkat (65268)
• Philippines
19 Feb
I do agree that it needs them to socialize. It could bring back the old memories.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@Shavkat - It is good for us all to make a habit of socializing our entire lives. Then, we will be in good shape as we age.
1 person likes this
@Shavkat (65268)
• Philippines
25 Feb
@DeborahDiane I do agree with you. We need to do this.
1 person likes this
@houda28 (380)
• Tunisia
19 Feb
Thanks for the info :)
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Feb
@houda28 - You are welcome. I am happy to share what I am learning.
1 person likes this
@rakski (22170)
• Philippines
19 Feb
very informative and very true.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@rakski - Thank you. I am glad you have found this information helpful.
@JudyEv (134903)
• Bunbury, Australia
19 Feb
Oh no! Do I have to put aside my computer? But joking aside, I can easily understand how staying isolated would not contribute to good mental health.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Feb
@JudyEv - Ha ha! I was feeling a little guilty as a wrote that on my computer! However, people do need to get out and spend time with other people. I know you and your husband do that, so I think you are both in good shape from the social aspect!
1 person likes this