The Importance of Social Interaction for Those with Parkinson’s Disease

Studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease is to increase social interaction for the patient. This interaction exercises the brain of the patient and works to stave off dementia of all types. It is believed that it does so by forcing the mind to use neural connections. When choosing Parkinsons care in Montreal, whether it be home care or a senior care living arrangement, ask if this is an integral part of the program as those with Parkinson’s tend to avoid social situations because they are embarrassed by their symptoms. In addition, social interaction is needed for those who have shown a decrease in mental response times as well as those who find it difficult to read social cues.

Social interaction is a form of mental exercise and therefore priority should be placed on these interactions just as priority is placed on keeping the body fit. When new opportunities are presented to patients suffering from Parkinson’s, especially activities which take place in small settings, the patient is likely to respond to treatment better. Often patients with this condition suffer from a lack of facial expression which can lead others to thing they are being ignored or what they say isn’t interesting. In small group settings, this can be easily explained, giving the patient more opportunity to spend with others.

Interacting with others socially does much more for the patient with Parkinson’s disease. It also helps to keep their self esteem up while taking their mind off the disease for a while. When combined with learning a new activity or engaging in a lifelong hobby, the patient spends time with others. This has been shown to be so successful that dance classes have been developed for those with Parkinson’s disease as dance also helps with movement issues that arise with this condition. Some choose to try yoga while others join a group that walks on a regular basis.

Others find a support group is all that is needed to provide this social interaction while music or art lessons are the preferred choice of others. It is believed that creative ability is not affected by this disease and giving the patient the opportunity to express him or herself creatively can help to reduce the impact symptoms have. As no two patients are alike, it may take some time to find the right social setting for the patient. Making the effort to do so is of more importance than many believe though as it can help with a number of aspects of this disease.