Cognitive decline in seniors is a widespread and serious problem that not only diminishes the quality of life for the individual, but causes untold heartache for family and friends. In addition to causing emotional stress, dementia and other conditions that impair brain function in seniors create extremely challenging conditions for healthcare, and in some cases, result in enormous healthcare costs that quickly eat up the savings of the victim and/or family members.
The bad news is, cognitive decline among seniors is an already vast problem that is growing rapidly. As people live longer, they naturally become more susceptible to issues caused by the natural, physical decline of an aging brain. The good news is, cognitive decline in seniors can be resisted or even reversed in some cases. The infographic below, Senior Health Guide: Keeping Your Brain Young, lays out the scope of the challenges and provides very useful tips for combatting the loss of brain function. It’s valuable information for any senior, and certainly any family member or friend who wants to see their beloved senior continue enjoying a great quality of life.
Many of the techniques for combatting cognitive decline are quite simple on the surface, but can be exceedingly difficult to actually do. Smoking is a good example. Cigarettes are absolute poison for brain health in seniors, since smoking reduces blood flow to the brain and contributes to any number of other conditions, such as heart disease and stroke, that can seriously and rapidly impair brain function. However, a senior who has smoked for decades may not be inclined to quit without a lot of gentle nudging and support from family members and friends.
The same dynamics hold true for things such as eating more healthy and exercising more regularly. Habits are hard to break! Approaching senior brain health as a team effort among family and friends produces the best outcome.
One area of concern where family members really need to stay involved is with medications. If seniors are taking multiple medications with different dosages and usage instructions, they may be confronted with a complex set of tasks that have grown beyond their ability to manage. In such cases, medications may be taken incorrectly and repeatedly, leading to serious health issues that are discovered only after it is too late. The key here for family members is to avoid denial. You hope your senior relative is mentally fit, but act and be involved as if it were the worst-case scenario.
To learn more about this challenging issue and how you can address it, check out the infographic created by Custom Home Care.