How can we help people maintain social connections to improve health? Elizabeth Tracey reports
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Older adults who are socially isolated experience a 27% higher risk of developing dementia compared with those who maintain their social connections, a study of 6000 older adults reveals. Geriatrics expert Thomas Cudjoe at Johns Hopkins, one of the study’s authors, says this is an issue with public health consequences.
Cudjoe: Broader awareness about the importance of social connections is an important part of this. Investment in entities and social infrastructure that can facilitate and nurture social connections, and it can take the form of there is public investment and library systems and community spaces, and parks and recreation. All these things I think are part of the public infrastructure that are environments that facilitate and nurture social connection. We have some good ideas about what we can do to prevent and some of the investment should be in preventing people from becoming isolated. :31
Cudjoe notes that promoting social connections throughout the lifespan is important, and infrastructure helps. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.