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Care of the older person
Depression and social isolation are associated with loneliness among seniors with mild-to-moderate dementia—findings from the IDEAL cohort study
  1. Paolo Mazzola1,2
  1. 1School of Medicine and Surgery, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy
  2. 2Acute Geriatrics Unit, ASST di Monza, Monza, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Paolo Mazzola, School of Medicine and Surgery, Universita degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Monza 20900, Italy; paolo.mazzola{at}unimib.it

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Commentary on: Victor CR, Rippon I, Nelis SM, et al. Prevalence and determinants of loneliness in people living with dementia: Findings from the IDEAL programme. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2020; 851–8. doi:10.1002/gps.5305

Implications for practice and research

  • Addressing depressive symptoms may potentially benefit individuals by reducing their likelihood to experience loneliness.

  • Interventions implemented to prevent and counteract loneliness should be tailored to the specific needs of individuals with dementia.

  • Future research should consider not only dementia-specific and generally established risk factors for loneliness but also investigate the quality of the relationships between people, possibly with a longitudinal study design.

Context

Dementia affects about 50 million individuals worldwide, and this is projected to triple in the next three decades.1 One-third of people with dementia reports experiencing loneliness,2 which is the discrepancy between an individual’s expectations about his/her own relationships, and what …

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @paolinomj

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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