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Housebound seniors are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as more active individuals.
Investigators at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago followed 1,294 seniors from two separate studies. None of the study subjects exhibited dementia symptoms at the beginning of either study.æ
During an average of 4.4 years, 180 participants developed Alzheimer’s. Of this group, patients who self-reported that they never left their home environments during an average week were two times as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who periodically traveled out of town.
Those homebound that are physically and perhaps mentally not able to go outside are in a bind. Home care is not a substitute for what I think researchers are hinting at – socialization. I think in these cases it is about how the community rallies around home-bound elderly.æ
For those that can but choose not to go out, I would think that adult day care, medical or otherwise, would be an ideal solution. But many are reluctant to try. And that is where families need to become educated about choices for mom and dad and reduce their own fear and anxiety about having a loved one try them out.