We all realize that as we age, our bodies begin to slow down. What catches some of us off-guard is cognitive decline.
Studies have shown that the brain changes with age. So, with age comes a decline in cognitive health. Cognitive decline is the experience of worsening or more frequent confusion or memory loss. It is a form of cognitive impairment and one of the earliest noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. It can affect functions such as thinking, memory, language, learning, reasoning, and making decisions.
One of the first signs of age-related change is forgetfulness. It is common for older adults to be forgetful at times. For instance, forgetting to pay a bill or forgetting where they placed keys is not unusual for seniors. Sometimes seniors panic at their forgetfulness and wrongly conclude that they are in the early stages of dementia.
Forgetfulness is not as serious as memory loss, which is a common symptom of cognitive impairment. If memory problems become frequent, a visit to the doctor is necessary for a diagnosis.
There are a number of reasons for a decline in cognitive health among seniors, and many of them can go undiagnosed for years. 5 reasons for cognitive impairment in seniors may include:
- Brain damage due to strokes or head injuries
- Side effects from prescription medication
- Long-term substance abuse
- Psychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety
- Dementia, including Alzheimer/s disease
How caregivers can help those with cognitive decline
People who lose their cognitive abilities may need help with basic tasks such as:
- Personal hygiene
- Paying bills
- Nutrition – meal planning, shopping and light cooking
- Companionship during errands or visits with friends and family
- Safety – turning off appliances
Having these needs taken care of makes our senior clients feel so much more at ease. And, that goes for families as well! Caring for someone with cognitive impairment often falls on family members who may not have the time, ability, or resources to handle the job. The caregivers at Sunland help to relieve the pressure placed on families and provide the personalized care that their loved ones need. When you find you have the need, we will be there to ensure you carry on with the happiest, safest, and most independent life possible. Click here and give us a call with your questions today.