What Is Normal Age-Related Cognitive Decline?

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Even though many adults stay mentally sharp well into their senior years, cognitive decline is a natural part of the aging process. As seniors grow older, their cognitive abilities could be impacted by many different variables, including oxidative stress, cell damage, free radicals, and acute injuries. Over time, seniors might find it difficult to follow complex conversations or learn new skills. That being said, the elderly can do quite a bit to preserve their cognitive health.

Cognitive Health and Aging

According to a long-term study carried out at the University of Oregon, almost every adult is going to lose some memory-making and cognitive abilities as time goes on. Some experts think age-related cognitive decline is the result of cell damage, while others believe brain receptors begin to close off with age. There’s still quite a bit to learn about the aging process, but it’s important to remember those changes are perfectly natural.

Typical Signs of Cognitive Decline

One of the most common byproducts of aging is mild forgetfulness. Seniors might regularly misplace their keys or forget why they walked into a room, and those issues are nothing to be worried about. Some older adults may also have a difficult time remembering certain words or following complex conversations when multiple people are talking at once. As a general rule, seniors should only be concerned if those memory problems begin to impact quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Sudden cognitive decline is often the result of a serious medical issue that must be addressed immediately. Neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia can drastically alter intellectual abilities in a matter of months, and caregivers should never ignore those signs. Some of the most common signs of dementia include severe memory loss, an inability to complete simple tasks, and mood swings.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Cedar Falls seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Stimulating Activities That Can Boost Cognitive Health

After years of research, doctors have discovered that seniors can continue to boost their cognitive health at any age. For many decades, mental health experts believed it was nearly impossible to build new brain synapses or repair damaged brain cells after a certain age. They now know that stimulating activities and healthy lifestyle habits can boost brain health and cognitive abilities, which is why many experts now suggest that seniors continue to challenge themselves with puzzles, board games, and online classes.

A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Cedar Falls families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Other Tips for Enhancing Cognitive Health

The mind won’t be as healthy if the body isn’t taken care of as well. Exercising multiple times a week is a great way to enhance mental faculties and emotional health. It’s also important for seniors to stick to a nutritious diet filled with brain-boosting foods. The MIND diet is an excellent option for older adults living with cognitive decline or a neurological disorder such as dementia.

Seniors with mobility limitations, health conditions, or severe cognitive challenges may find it difficult to manage their nutrition and overall health on their own. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care Cedar Falls, IA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 319-260-2222 today.

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