Evaluating social engagement services for older adults in community care: Role of social networks in cognitive decline
Current treatments for dementia are effective in only a subset of patients, and for these individuals it only manages to temporarily halt symptom progression. A ‘cure’ would involve reversal of a complex cognitive and non-cognitive syndromes, and likely require psychosocial changes early on in an individual’s life. Here, we aim to see if rich and meaningful social networks play a significant protective role in memory decline associated with old age. The proposed studies will inform future social engagement services through their evaluation of current social services offered in community care (e.g., meals on wheels, intergenerational interaction activities) and will form a new evidence base on how to best structure social networks in order to improve an individual’s quality of life.
Joyce Siette is a Research Fellow at the Centre of Health Systems and Safety Research, Australian Institute of Health Innovation in Macquarie University. She completed a PhD in psychology in 2012 and has over six years' research experience in behavioural psychology, neuroscience, mental health and sociology domains, and has managed clinical trials and research programmes in UK and Australia. Currently engaged in translational research, with a strong focus on embedding research findings into policy, Joyce has the objective of identifying and promoting psychosocial factors for older Australians to delay the onset and progression of dementia.