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Study: 64 percent of people with dementia feel isolated

Researchers suggest social interaction with loved ones can have long lasting emotional benefits for people living with dementia.
By Brooks Hays   |   Jan. 3, 2016 at 3:05 PM

LONDON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- According to a new report from the Alzheimer's Society, an advocacy organization in England, more than two-thirds of people living with dementia feel isolated and could benefit from visits from loved ones -- even if they no longer recognize them.

Conversely, 42 percent of people believe there's no benefit to visiting relatives or loved ones with dementia who no longer recognize them. According to the Alzheimer's Society, these people are mistaken.

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"Alzheimer's Society is calling on people to make a positive New Year's resolution to spend time with people with dementia and help them take part in activities they enjoy to keep connected," the group wrote in a press release.

Researchers suggest social interaction with loved ones can have long lasting emotional benefits for people living with dementia.

While the physical or explicit memory of an experience with a loved one may disappear, the emotional benefits -- feelings of familiarity, happiness, comfort and security -- will remain for some time.

The new report, based on a survey of 300 people affected by dementia, showed over half of people with dementia are no longer socially active or participate in activities they enjoy. Visiting with loved ones can help those with dementia take part in activities that help them feel less isolated.

"Spending time with loved ones and taking part in meaningful activities can have a powerful and positive impact, even if they don't remember the event itself," said Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer's Society.

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