Being bilingual could help slow dementia onset

Specialist dementia care at Stanfield Nursing Home

As a nursing home it is one of our top priorities to stay on top of current research and new ways to adapt our care. Being a specialist dementia care nursing home in Worcester, many of our residents are people living with Alzheimer’s disease, or other known dementia. This is why it is important for our staff and team at Stanfield Nursing Home to keep up-to-date with dementia-related research. We have a selection of videos and blogs talking about the facilities and services we supply to your loved ones based on their individual needs. Music therapy and decorating our seasonal tree are just a couple of examples of the activities that can aid the quality of life for someone with cognitive impairment. Our staff view person-centred care as a key aspect of caregiving responsibilities to make sure your relatives are well-looked after, involving our specialist dementia care services.

Dementia

Dementia is a disease of the brain involving cognitive degeneration in areas such as memory and language. 46 million people in the world suffer from dementia, a number which is predicted to rise to 131 million by 2050. Such a drastic increase so soon in the future means it is important to crack down on preventative measures in light of no current cure. Ensuring that best efforts are focused towards methods of strengthening cognitive resistance to degeneration will prove to be better in the long term by aiding concepts such as our cognitive reserve (which describes the brain’s resistance to damage as a result of stronger neuropathology).

Effects of two languages on the brain

Research has suggested that being fluent in more than one language exercises the brain due to the taxing complexity of switching between different sounds, grammar, and concepts. This builds stronger connections in larger quantities within the brain leading to a more substantial cognitive reserve that hinders deterioration.

A study between 2006 and 2012 compared the age of onset between monolingual and bilingual dementia patients in a sample of 648. They found that bilingual patients developed dementia around 4 years later than the monolingual cohort, demonstrating evidence of its protective qualities in decline. You can find the original article here.

More recent research in 2017 looked at the cognitive reserve hypothesis for bilingual patients and found that fluency in two languages acts as a powerful cognitive reserve proxy in dementia and exerts defensive effects against neurodegeneration. The original research can be found here.

Whilst this provides useful information for helping slow progression of the disease, further examination is required to investigate how best to utilise this information to better treatments and prevention of the disease.

Contacting Stanfield Nursing Home

If you are interested in finding out more information about the specialist dementia care services we provide at our nursing home in Worcester then head to our website today. Alternatively, you can call 01905 420 459 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.

You may also find this recent article on activities at Stanfield Nursing Home interesting to read - Celebrations in March | Paddy’s Day, Mother’s Day and More

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