Just an Hour a Week of Social Interaction Helps Patients with Dementia

By Minchin, Rod | The Scotsman, February 7, 2018 | Go to article overview

Just an Hour a Week of Social Interaction Helps Patients with Dementia


Minchin, Rod, The Scotsman


Dementia care for elderly people living in care homes is improved by just one hour of social interaction each week, a study suggests.

A large-scale trial found that increasing the amount of social interaction improves quality of life when combined with personalised care, and also saves money.

Previous research has found that in many care homes, residents have as little as two minutes of social interaction per day.

The research - which was led by the University of Exeter, King's College London and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust - trained key care home staff to deliver personcentred care, such as talking to residents about their interests.

When combined with just one hour a week of social interaction, the programme improved quality of life and also reduced agitation and aggression in people with dementia, the study found.

Professor Clive Ballard, of the University of Exeter medical school, said: "While many care homes are excellent, standards still vary hugely.

"We have previously found that the average amount of social interaction for people with dementia was just two minutes a day. It's hardly surprising when that has a knockon effect on quality of life and agitation.

"Our approach improves care and saves money. …

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