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Importance of Recognizing Early Cognitive Decline in Elderly

Senior Care in Palm Beach FL

Mild cognitive impairment is evident to both family members and to those experiencing the decline in memory and thinking abilities. At this point, however, it is not interfering with life skills orSenior-Care-in-Palm-Beach-FL their ability to live independently. The importance of early awareness is due to the fact that those with mild cognitive impairment have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. On the other hand, there are some that show improvement and never progress to the symptoms associated with dementia.

Supporting Brain Health

There are steps your loved one can take that support a healthy brain and can, in some cases, slow down the progression of cognitive decline. These include exercise, a healthy diet, and engaging in mentally stimulating activities.

What’s good for your body is good for your brain. An article Exploring Interventions to Reduce Cognitive Decline in the Elderly by Kristine Williams RN, PhD and Susan Kemper, PhD suggested, “Overall research findings support positive effects of cognitive and physical activity, social engagement, and therapeutic nutrition in optimizing cognitive aging.”

Exercise

Exercise does not have to be strenuous to be effective. Just 20 minutes a day of exercise that increases the heart rate and blood flow also increases the amount of oxygen available to the brain. Exercise increases cell growth and neuron connections, responsible for memory and learning. Exercise good for seniors includes activities that are gentle on the joints such as water aerobics, tai chi, yoga, walking and biking.

Cognitive Activity

Activity that stimulates the brain includes daily exercises that involve concentration such as puzzles and crosswords. In addition to these everyday activities, learning something new has been shown to increase neuron connectivity. It’s important to choose an activity that interests your parent in order to ensure longevity. Are they interested in learning a new language? Have they always wanted to learn a new craft such as weaving, oil painting or ceramics, but never took the time to pursue? Now is the perfect opportunity. The local senior community center is a good resource for such classes.

Social Engagement

If your loved one is finding communication a little challenging, they may be tempted to bow out of social interaction at a time when it is vital to maintain. Getting them involved in support groups where others are facing the same issue is a good way to keep them engaged. Obtaining the services of a senior care provider is another way to help them face mild cognitive decline with a positive attitude. They can provide transportation and accompany them on social outings or to the first few exercise and craft classes at the local senior center in order to ease any fears. They can assist them with daily walks and prepare healthy meals filled with antioxidant rich vegetables and fruits. More importantly, they provide that all important companionship vital to maintaining an active and happy outlook.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Palm Beach, FL, please contact the caring staff at Alternative Home Health Care today. Call (954) 622-0588.

 

Resources

http://www.alz.org/dementia/mild-cognitive-impairment-mci.asp

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2923489/

http://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/everyday-brain-fitness/physical-exercise

 

Zachary Desmond, Executive Administrator

Executive Administrator at Alternative Home Health Care
Zach Desmond began working with Alternative Home Health Care in September of 2013. In his role as Executive Administrator (EA), Zach is responsible for the overall direction of the organization and high level strategy that aligns with the company’s overall mission, vision, and values.

Zach brings to Alternative 10 years of healthcare operations, sales, finance, and “turn around” experience, having led multiple home health care locations across five states to profitability and sustainability. His history of improving customer service, work flow design, and operational efficiencies along with bottom line profitability has earned him awards and recognition a top performer. Zach realized early on in his career that he felt a true connection to caring for those who need help and ensuring they received the highest quality of care available.

Zach received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Zach resides in Fort Lauderdale with his wife, three dogs, one cat and stays very involved in his local community.

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