A new study published on March 4th by researchers from University of Adelaide has revealed that traditional large households help fend off dementia.
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A strong social network is widely recognised to benefit an adult’s well-being, mental health, and longevity, but University of Adelaide researchers discovered a substantial link between persons living in larger households and a lower risk of dementia death.
Wenpeng You and his team discovered that “large households protect against dementia mortality” irrespective of age, race, or income in a global study (read below) of adults over 60 years old from over 180 nations throughout the world.
“It shows that human factors—relationships, a sense of connection and purpose, encouragement and praise, meaningful engagement with others—are all quite important in combatting the progress of dementia,” You remarked in connection to the March 4 study.
Dementia is one of the most serious health problems of the twenty-first century, with a global cost of $1.3 trillion.
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Humans have evolved to rely on large families, according to senior author Emeritus Professor Maciej Henneberg.
Hennenberg added, “We are actually not well-adapted to the contemporary trends of small families, personal space and individualism.”
Living with family or other household occupants, he claims, is beneficial to the mind and body because “there are usually regular mealtimes, there is conversation, people to check to see if you have taken your medications, and family members encouraging regular activity.”
“That engagement, when it is positive, stimulates the production of oxytocin, often dubbed the happiness hormone, and that has been shown to have a positive effect on physiological wellbeing by protecting cardio-vascular systems associated with vascular dementia and may exert a beneficial slow-down on dementia development,” Hennenberg added.
When a conventional large household or family-centered lifestyle is no longer viable, people should increase pleasant relationships with people in their neighbourhood, community groups, or other engagements.
Hennenberg said “Without that human connection, we don’t thrive as we should.”
In a Norwegian study, larger households were found to protect youngsters from acquiring mental health illnesses.
The more siblings there were and the closer they were in age, the more good the influence on mental health was. In addition, girls were marginally more receptive than boys to the presence of siblings.
The study further said that, “Older siblings would be expected to supplement parents in terms of offering the child an environment that induces the feeling of safety and companionship.”
“Having older siblings correlated with improved scores on the mental outcome for all age groups probed (3, 5 and 8 years).”
Read the study below: