Singapore Management University (SMU) researchers which started in March 2016. The team tracked 46 seniors, aged 61 to 93, who lived alone in Marine Parade. They realised that there were seven seniors, including Mr Tan who showed signs of being isolated socially and emotionally. They realised that these elderly who become socially isolated will develop depression which could affect their sleep quality, cognition level and ability to perform daily activities. There were also further studies which found that these elderly spent two hours more at home and close to three hours more in the living room each day than the rest in the group. They also napped one hour more on average than the others. (Boh, 2017).
In order to understand this point better, there was also a literature review done to study the relationship between social engagement and daytime sleepiness among aged residents of a veterans’ housing facility in Taiwan (Lee et al, 2013).
Those elderly with higher levels of social engagements were found to be related to higher levels of well-being, longer survival, cognition preservation, and reduced depressive symptoms, along with prevention of disabilities. On the other hand, those elderly with lower levels of social engagements have been associated with cognitive impairment, poor quality of life, and risk of dementia. A recent report examined the relationship between sleep problems and activities in residents of long-term care facilities, and the report suggested that those with sleep problems exhibit lower levels of social engagement and activity. The excessive daytime sleepiness has been suggested to have a negative effect on geriatric functional status, including social outcomes (Lee et al, 2013).
Those elderly who are living in long term care facilities have poor social engagement and day time sleepiness is common in them. The clinical care provided for older residents should aim to reduce daytime sleepiness to enhance their social engagement.