22 May 2018
When I think of people living with dementia, I am reminded of a conversation that I had with my 7-year-old daughter last week. She asked me “Mummy why do you talk to strangers?”.
It’s interesting that she had noticed this, and the fact is that maybe consciously or subconsciously I always try to engage with people when I’m out. Maybe this is because I know that loneliness can increase the risk of developing dementia.
In today’s fast paced society, where more and more social interactions are taking place online, where people walk around looking down at their phones and cashless tills are becoming the norm, it is even harder for people suffering with loneliness to engage with strangers.
So, we find that a lot of people when they feel lonely will make appointments with doctors to talk, or will go to the shops to browse, and will buy multiple scarfs that they don’t need.
This is all at the back of my mind when I talk to strangers. I enjoy chatting to people, and often make a conversation about what’s in someone’s trolley, or when waiting to cross the road will comment on the weather, or when I pass someone that looks a bit lost I might ask a question.
I feel like that might be my contribution to try and help people with dementia, and those with loneliness, maybe in a small way we can all help with this.
There are lots of other lifestyle factors that can affect the chances of dementia, these are all nicely detailed in the book ‘Aging with Grace: The Nun Study’ by David Snowden this can be found in my first blog post: https://www.drashaherbert.life/blog/4-aging-with-grace-book-review