5 Strategies for Addressing Cognitive Decline Related to Aging

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Addressing Cognitive Decline Related to seniors

Whenever older adults experience a decrease in cognitive abilities, there’s often a natural inclination to think it’s caused by dementia. However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, if cognitive decline is generally mild and not progressing rapidly, it’s often due to age-related issues. It’s not something that’s always reversible or entirely preventable, but there are ways you can help your senior loved one manage age-related cognitive decline.

1. Memory Reminders

Remind your loved one there’s no shame in using memory prompts like Post-it Notes, scheduling apps, and physical calendars with important dates circled. What’s good about memory reminders like these is that your loved one can use them as needed in a way that’s subtle.

2. Brain-Stimulating Activities

Age-related cognitive decline can also be addressed by keeping the brain properly stimulated. What this does is maintain mental clarity and keep all parts of the brain fully engaged. Luckily, there are many types of brain-stimulating activities that can be both fun and beneficial for older adults. Some of these include:
  • Playing board games or engaging video games
  • Using brain-stimulating apps such as Left vs Right: Brain Games, Lumosity, and Fit Brain Trainer
  • Working traditional jigsaw puzzles and doing word and logic-based puzzles Arts and crafts projects can be equally stimulating for an aging brain in a way that can keep cognitive decline manageable. Harvard Health references two recent studies suggesting music-based activities like joining in sing-alongs and playing musical instruments can also be good for seniors looking to get a handle on age-related cognitive decline.
Seniors can benefit from the help of a professional caregiver with training in methods designed to boost cognitive health. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Arlington 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.

3. Healthy Eating Habits

Proper nutrition boosts the intake of cell-protecting antioxidants that can help seniors manage cognitive decline that occurs naturally with age. A Food and Drug Administration study found green leafy veggies can offer cognitive benefits for adults 65 and over. Brain power and cognitive function may also receive a much-appreciated boost with other brain-friendly foods, including:
  • Salmon, tuna, and other fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Coffee and dark chocolate in moderation
  • Oranges and other brightly colored citrus fruits
  • Pumpkin seeds and nuts
  • Turmeric, ginger, and similar spices
Older adults with 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 senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

4. Exercise

Physical exercise can help seniors manage age-related cognitive decline by increasing the circulation the brain needs to function well. A University of South Carolina study found regular exercise revitalizes brain cells. Also, results from a small University of California, Irvine, study suggest yoga done on a regular basis may strengthen thinking and memory capabilities. Seniors may be able to further reduce mental fatigue and manage cognitive decline with forms of exercise such as:
  • Daily walking
  • Swimming and other water-based exercises
  • Resistance training
  • Low-impact aerobic workouts

5. Social Interaction

Loneliness, depression, and isolation can hasten cognitive decline in older adults. On the other hand, regular social interaction has the potential to offset age-related cognitive issues by creating a sense of being needed and appreciated. Interactions with grandchildren and other younger individuals can be just as beneficial for older adults as social engagement with peers. A home caregiver can help your loved one find ways to stay engaged and prevent boredom, isolation, and loneliness. For families living in Arlington, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (817) 591-1580 today.


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