A 3 year study in Amsterdam has found that senior citizens who experience loneliness were more likely to experience dementia than seniors who lived alone.
The research studied over 2,200 older adults living in Amsterdam, ages 65 go 85, who showed no signs of dementia and were not living in nursing homes or "retirement communities". Two thirds of the people studied were women.
Here's what one researcher said:
“Loneliness may be a behavioral reaction to diminished cognition. loneliness may also lead to a lack of sensory and cognitive stimulation.”
A large social network does not necessarily mean that one isn't lonely - as the author of the study explains it is more about one's perception of their life and how they manage anxieties. If one feels like they have a lot of friends - that may lessen the chances of dementia.
So don't worry about feeling alone! Just feel good, and it may be just as helpful as adding 2,000 friends on Myspace, ha!