Social Health in an Effort to Maintain Cognitive Function in Older


FK-KMK UGM. The Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing held a Guest Lecture on the topic “Does Social Health Matter?” with Prof. Dr. Myrra Vernooij-Dassen from Radboud University on Friday (02/02) at the 1st floor Auditorium of the Tahir Postgraduate Building of the Faculty.

Social health is essentially a relational concept in which well-being is defined on one hand, as the impact that an individual has on others, and the other hand as the impact that the social environment has, in turn, on the individual. Social health is a driver for stimulating the use of cognitive reserve through active facilitation and utilization of the individual’s capacities and those of their social environment that slow cognitive impairment or maintain cognitive functioning in old age.

Social health has domains, they are capacities, autonomy, social participation, social network, social functions, and appraisal. These domains are underpinned by one big concept, social health. Each domain has its role in supporting the realization of social health. “The concept of social health as an umbrella for its domains is a concept that can explain the social health profile well,” Prof. Myrra added.

A conceptual framework for social health enables structured identification of how cognitive function in old age can be maintained or slowed down. “Links between markers of neurobiological health and social health have been found, risk factors will be modified, and protective factors will be used to support interventions,” Prof. Myrra explained. (Reporter: Nirwana)