Cognitive Issues in Seniors: Everything You Need To Know
Signs of Cognitive Issues
It is critical to notice when your loved one is acting differently and demonstrating an array of problems with their cognitive health. We’ve identified the red flags to look for in your loved ones who may be experiencing cognitive decline:
- Mood Swings
- Trouble recalling people, places, or memories
- Recurrent questions/stories
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor decision making/ judgment choices
- Vision deteriorating
- Having a hard time formulating the “right words”
- Misplace items on a regular basis
- Having trouble registering things
If you see your loved one portraying one or a multitude of signs, it is best to seek medical advice and help them start implementing a healthier lifestyle.
As we start to age, it is more imperative than ever to live a healthy lifestyle. Nurturing your body and mind with healthy food, drinks and activities can benefit one in the long run by helping to slow down cognitive decline.
Maintaining a healthy diet can help boost cognitive health. Eating food that is good not only for you, but for your brain is highly suggested.
Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your brain. Eating high levels of these fats, have been shown to help lower dementia and slow down mental decline, according to WebMD.
Eating greens, such as kale and spinach have high levels of vitamin E, which have been linked to improvement of mitochondrial function and neurological performance, according to Well+Good.
Incorporate berries into an everyday diet. Dark berries, like cherries and blueberries are full of anthocyanins and other flavonoids that can help boost memory function.
Walnuts are not only a tasty snack, but may help in improving one’s cognitive function.
If you or your loved one love tomatoes, you’re in luck! BBC Good Food notes the antioxidant, lycopene, found in tomatoes can assist in preventing damage to cells that happen in the development of dementia!
Keeping a healthy level of social activity helps seniors keep mentally active. Simply talking or playing games with others can help keep the brain cognitively well. Seniors can interact with friends and family. If you notice your loved one becoming isolated or alone, try to initiate days to take them to lunch or play a game, maybe even enroll them in art classes with other seniors.
Another great socialization activity seniors can do is participate in inter-generational programs. If your loved one is in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, they may offer the opportunity to participate with local schools and organizations. Socializing with different generations and residents, is a great way for seniors to keep up with the changing times, and gain friendships outside of the home.
Recognizing a cognitive decline in yourself or a loved one can be a scary thing. However, by embodying a healthy lifestyle filled with nutritious brain food and stimulating activities, one can help decrease cognitive decline or help slow it down.
Along with a healthy diet, maintaining a level of activity is also beneficial in assisting in brain health. These types of activities can include games to stimulate brain function or physical activity to get the body moving.
- Word Puzzles: Give your brain a nice workout by doing word puzzles! This type of activity challenges the brain to find the answer, thus by stimulating the brain to work to configure the solution.
- Connections Game: As one gets older, it can be hard to make the connection between a name and a face or place. SuperCarers mentions the connection game, where one takes two words and has to find the connection between the two. So with ‘lock’ and ‘piano’ the associated word for both is ‘key.’ This game can help make the association between a name and a person or place easier.
Our brain is perhaps the most integral organ in maintaining a high level of functionality. According to Princeton Brain, Spine and Sports Medicine, the brain oversees and coordinates our actions and reactions, which permits us to think and feel. Thus, enabling us to obtain memories and have feelings.
As we get older, our brain functionality tends to decrease and prompts cognitive issues in seniors. This can be scary not only for seniors, but for their family members. However, noticing the signs and incorporating a healthy senior lifestyle for your loved one, can help prevent or slow down cognitive decline.
About the Author:
Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.