Living in larger households may help senior Australians with dementia to slow the progression of the disease, according to research conducted by the University of Adelaide.
In 2023, there are over 400,000 Australians living with dementia with this number expected to increase to over 800,000 by 2058.
A key component in the prevention of the disease is human connection, with relationships, a sense of purpose and meaningful engagement with others benefitting those at risk. However, not all seniors are surrounded by family or maintain strong relationships in the community, making communities like Ingenia Gardens a critical part in supporting those with dementia.
Portfolio Manager Ingenia Gardens Madonna Jackson said that the senior living communities help fill this gap by providing that all-important sense of community and social interaction for residents.
“Unfortunately, this living arrangement is not always possible. Perhaps family have moved to a different state or live overseas, or maybe they just don’t have the right type of accommodation to allow their older family members to move in. This is where somewhere like Ingenia Gardens can deliver a similar benefit, being intentionally designed to reinforce community and foster relationships with neighbours and residents. They’re designed with seniors needs in mind, helping them age in place as long as possible.
“We know that many older Australians start to worry about living by themselves because it can get quite lonely. There’s also a bit of fear around not having people nearby if something were to happen like a fall or accident. Our residents have that additional security of having someone onsite like a Community Manager and other residents close by who will always be happy to check in on you.
When you get older, life can slow down but it’s important that we don’t – it’s essential that seniors get out, stay social, and keep their minds active.Madonna Jackson Ingenia Gardens Portfolio Manager
“Residents across all communities are regularly participating in one activity or another – some we organise to focus on particular areas like cognitive health, but just as many are driven by the residents themselves.
“Recently, our communities have had great success with a Tea Towel Artwork Contest we’ve run to promote increased happiness, brain function and mental and physical health.
“We know from research that art and creative activities have many health benefits, particularly for older people and we thought an art competition would be a great way to promote social connection within the communities with residents getting together and doing their art as a group.
“All of these measures are helpful ways to help prevent the progression of dementia and to keep our seniors thriving as they should, whereas those living alone or even with family who work 9-5 and aren’t always home might miss out on that sort of connection.”