Your friends can help you a lot. “Through a variety of activities you do during your life, your brain becomes more efficient. If you have a disease that’s destroying your [thought-processing] networks, the guy with the more efficient network is going to be better off,” says Bennett.
Some time friendship with opposite gender converts into family relationship. For example, you and X had been studying in the same school or residing in the same colony, village or town for a long period. Your frequent meetings with that person developed a sort of friendship which had started from some beginning lip smiles and then to some formal/informal talks. You give some more time in closeness and get introduced with personal aptitude leading both of you to strong friendship. One day, you decide to marry. The friendship becomes root of your family.
After you form family with that ‘X’,who was earlier your friend, you and your spouse still have some friends. Sometime such friends can provide help and comfort – or can add to the problems. If they are sincere, they can lend you their helping hands in solving your emotional, financial and social problems. If unfortunately, they are not sincere, they can blackmail you too when you might have discussed with them your intimate details. Here you need to screen out your true friends. But after you ascertain who is your sincere friends and the initial hurdle of telling is overcome, they can be the most important support network of all.
Scientifically, having your social network continued is beneficial to your health. “If you stay connected, you have a better shot,” says Valerie Crooks, clinical trials administrative director at Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group and lead author of the study. “Whenever we have even the most basic exchange, we have to think about how to respond, and that stimulates the brain. There are people who are outliers, who have two very close relationships and are fine cognitively. But people who have three or more relationships tend to do better.”
Park hypothesizes that social interaction, like mental exercises and learning, may limit the amount of time that the aging brain can remain unfocused, in a daydream-like state. Her theory is that older people have more difficulty switching between daydreaming and focused attention to important details. So the more time the aging brain spends mentally stimulated and socially engaged, the less switching is necessary, and the easier it is to perform the daily tasks necessary for independent living.
Three years after Christine McCleary’s father died, she started noticing changes in her mom, Stella. A typically active woman who always had lots of friends, Stella started skipping church services, which was out of character for her. She stopped wearing makeup and didn’t always remember to launder her clothes. Not only that, Stella, 86, began spending more and more time alone in her apartment and often couldn’t remember what day of the week it was.
McCleary was no longer sure that her mom, who lived thousands of miles away, was remembering to eat regular meals. “We knew that things were going downhill,” says McCleary, 56, but the final straw came during a frantic phone call. “She thought my father was there, and he’d been dead at the time for three years. That made us say, hey, she can’t be living on her own anymore.” So Stella moved from her longtime home near Pittsburgh to a senior residence in Reno, Nev., close to McCleary and her husband. Stella went from having maybe two social interactions a week to living in a building with more than 200 of her peers. Within a month she was applying blush and wearing jewelry. She started playing bridge every week and walking three miles a day. Her conversations became animated again. “It was like the clock was turned back four years,” says McCleary’s husband Larry, 59. “You could tell she enjoyed getting up in the morning.”
New research suggests that Stella’s turnaround may have been integrally tied to her level of social activity and engagement. Many scientists now believe that social interaction is key to maintaining good mental health and warding off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
In another study at Rush, researchers followed about 800 people, all about age 80, for four years. The participants had no signs of dementia at the beginning of the study, but some described themselves as lonely and tested positive on a “loneliness scale.” During the study, 76 people developed Alzheimer’s-like dementia. People with the highest scores on the loneliness scale had more than twice the risk of developing dementia as those with more social connections who had scored lower.
Whatever the process is that allows social interaction to protect the aging brain—and scientists are only beginning to understand it—the McClearys believe it worked wonders for Stella, who lived in the Reno facility for two years. “I am convinced that had she continued to live alone in her previous apartment, she would not have improved the way she did,” says her daughter, Christine McCleary. “I’m just sorry my dad never lived there too, because I think he would have benefited from it and loved it.”
Since friends are important asset to us, our family and our social life, we must keep our social network expanding. A Friend in need is a friend indeed. You too can be a good friend to some family. And the whole family will become your friend.
Here are some of the ways your social network made up of your friends can provide help:
Your Sincere Friends always listen carefully to you when you are wishing to tell your problem.
One of the best things friends can do is simply to listen to you as you go through the ups and downs of treatment. You may need to talk to someone about the minutiae of the injections, scans and your reactions to them. Having someone on the other end of the phone can be invaluable. But before telling your problem, you must check out the capacity of that friend whether he/she can keep secret of your problem if warranted, whether he/she can extend to you some help and whether he/she is reliable.
Your Sincere Friends provide practical help
Some have good friends who are ready to help by giving injections. Alternatively, if your partner cannot go with you on visits to the clinic, they can step in with moral support or for practical help like driving you home afterwards. Talk to them freely, so they can understand what you are going through.
Sometime, your family may find short of funds to meet some urgent need at home and you are not at home, you can ask any of your sincere friends to arrange some funds to be repaid when you return. Some friends can help your children to get suitable jobs and become reference for them.
Your Sincere Friends Carry on as usual without making you feel your loss.
In the middle of all the treatment, it’s easy to let your social life go. Friends can help by inviting you round. They can organize outings or ask you to stay, to help ease the tension of waiting for results. They can restore you to your normal life by keeping you busy.
Be Happy– Your Sincere Friend Is A Strength To Your Family.