Dementia, Alzheimer’s Correlated to Loneliness
Volumes of research support the efficacy of cognitive stimulation. Researchers at University of California, San Francisco found that people who identified themselves as lonely had an adjusted risk ratio of:
- 1.59 or a statistically significant 59 percent greater risk of decline
- For death, the hazard ratio was 1.45 or 45 percent greater risk of death
The risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s was also increased in older people with increasing social isolation and less frequent and unsatisfactory contacts with relatives and friends.
When over 1,600 adults over the age of 60 in the U.S. were asked how often they felt lonely or excluded, 43% said often or some of the time.
Nearly 25% of adults who reported feeling lonely also reported:
- They had trouble carrying out activities of daily living. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) include bathing, dressing, grooming, eating and getting in and out of bed.
- Only 12.5% of adults who were not lonely reported such declines.