4 Ways Getting Older Impacts Cognitive Abilities

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Aging affects every part of the body, and the brain is one area where seniors tend to notice the symptoms of getting older first. Cognitive functioning depends on a variety of factors, such as a person’s genetics, general health, and lifestyle. As your senior loved one ages, watch for ways aging affects his or her cognitive abilities so you can do your best to help him or her overcome new challenges. 

1. Decreased Memory Abilities

Memory lapses are so common among older adults that people call them “senior moments.” With normal aging, your loved one may find it takes longer to recall important information, or he or she may get the feeling that a word is just on the tip of his or her tongue but it won’t come out. 

Occasional memory lapses such as these are normal, especially when seniors are tired or hungry. However, you should be concerned about major memory loss that affects your loved one’s daily living. Seniors who leave appliances on or forget to take their medication need assistance at home to keep them safe.

If your loved one is experiencing cognitive decline and needs constant supervision, consider hiring a trained professional caregiver. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Philadelphia live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. 

2. Altered Language Skills

The ability to speak and comprehend other people’s language is tied to cognitive functioning. Those memory issues that occur with age may cause your loved one to forget the meanings of important words. Seniors with dementia may also substitute unrelated words for others to the point where their statements don’t make sense. 

Those who have issues with language skills are at greater risk for becoming isolated. If necessary, send a companion with your loved one to social occasions so your loved one has a supportive person who can quickly step in if he or she becomes uncomfortable when trying to hold a conversation. Keep in mind that language challenges also include difficulties with reading comprehension, so watch out for issues with reading instructions or labels on medication bottles. 

3. Difficulty Learning New Things

Older adults can sometimes become set in their ways. While this could be a personality trait, it’s often related to difficulty with learning new procedures and information. For instance, your loved one may take longer to adjust to using a new smartphone or home appliance. 

To counteract this issue, help your loved one walk through new steps one at a time until he or she feels confident performing a task independently. Seniors who continue to engage in learning activities, such as classes and seminars, are also more likely to retain the neural connections responsible for helping them understand and remember new things.

Seniors can also benefit from the help of professional caregivers with training in methods designed to boost cognitive health. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of in-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

4. Slower Response Times

Reaction times also tend to slow down as a person ages due to dwindling communication between the senses and the parts of the brain that send signals to the body to move. Observe your loved one for signs of slower reaction times and arrange for help around the house or with driving if you sense it poses a safety risk. 

If your loved one shows any of these signs or other evidence of cognitive challenges, you can gain peace of mind by adding a compassionate professional caregiver to your family’s caregiving team. Philadelphia elderly home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. If you need professional care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (215) 645-4663.


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