Associated social factors for cognition of older adults receiving community aged care services

Laura Dodds, Andrew Georgiou, Johanna Westbrook (Contributor), Joyce Siette*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Social networks play a crucial protective role in slowing the progression of cognitive impairment in older adults. However, little knowledge exists about the impact of remaining socially connected amongst older individuals receiving home and community based aged care services. Hence, we aimed to investigate the association between cognitive function and interpersonal relationships in this population.
A sample of older Australians (n=178) receiving community aged care services in NSW responded to questions about social networks, health-related quality of life and cognitive function. Data were also collected on community care service use and sociodemographic variables. Cognitive function was measured using the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status-Modified (TICS-M). Using multiple regression analyses we ascertained the associations between quality of life, level of social support, relationship status, demographics and cognitive impairment.
The sample was predominantly female (65.8%), with a mean age of 80.4± 6.7 years. A third had a cognitive impairment (37.6%) and reported a moderately high level of social networks (M=33.5, SD=11.8). Significant predictors of higher cognitive capacity included being male, having better social networks, requiring fewer service hours, and receiving a variety of service types.
Our findings suggest that accessing a diverse range of aged care service types may enhance the quality of social networks, which may be important to better cognitive functioning. It also has important implications for community aged care services designed to reduce social isolation, particularly in community-dwelling males. Future studies could look at introducing more robust technologies to effectively assess cognitive function, and associated factors in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2019
EventMacquarie Neurodegeneration Meeting 2019 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 19 Jul 201919 Jul 2019


ConferenceMacquarie Neurodegeneration Meeting 2019


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