Alzheimer's & Mental Health News for Senior Citizens

Alzheimer's & Mental Health News

Personal contact critical to mental health of older adults

Email, phone not included as in-person contact for study

depressed womanOct. 6, 2015 – The probability of experiencing depressive symptoms steadily increased as the frequency of in-person contact decreased for adults age 50 and over and participating in a recent study. Phone and written (letter or email) contact was not considered as in-person.

Individuals without in-person social contact at least every few months with children, other family, and friends had a significantly higher probability of clinically significant depressive symptoms two years later (11.5%).

Only 8.1% of those having such in-person contact once or twice a month developed these depressive symptoms. And, it dropped to only 7.3% if the in-person contact was once or twice a week.

"This study shows that meeting up and connecting with people face-to-face is good medicine for depression prevention," said Dr. Alan Teo, lead author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study.

"As opportunities for connecting grow with social media, I hope we can study more how different ways of connecting influence mental health."


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