Cognitive Decline In Older Adults: 4 Things To Know

It’s common for most people to experience shifts in their bodies as they age. Some of the most common changes may include decreased hearing capacity, cataracts, refractive errors, visual impairments, neck and pain aches, slower bodily movements, and reduced muscle strength. Some people may also have a hard time doing what they used to due to old age.

On top of that, risks of cognitive decline also increase as people age. While most people will experience this stage eventually, it’s still best to know what this condition means and recognize its early signs to counter its impacts. 

If you have an elderly relative suffering from cognitive decline and want to help them, you can continue reading this article for more ideas. 

 Must-Know Things About Cognitive Decline In Older Adults

As people age, they tend to forget most things. They also become more prone to experience cognitive changes as time goes by. For instance, older adults tend to lose their train of thought more often, get overwhelmed easily, have difficulties finding their way in familiar environments, and show drastic changes in decision-making skills. 

You might feel worried and alarmed if you notice these changes in your elderly loved ones. But that shouldn’t prevent you from helping them get through their condition. To know the effective measures to counter cognitive issues like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive impairments, you can click here for more ideas.

Below are some things you need to know about cognitive decline in adults and how to deal with them:

1. As People Age, The Risks Of Cognitive Decline Also Increase

Generally, the symptoms of cognitive issues range from simple cases of forgetfulness and mild cognitive impairment to severe cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Not only that, but the risks of cognitive decline may also increase as people age.

According to some studies, around 15-20% of older people aged 65 and above become more at risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Some accounts also show that the prevalence of cognitive decline among older adults increased to 11.1 % or one in every nine adults. On the other hand, the pervasiveness of this condition is 10.8% in people aged 45-64. Lastly, cognitive decline is more prevalent in men than women, with 11.3% compared to 10.6%. 

This condition could significantly affect one’s normal functioning and disrupt cognitive capacities without getting addressed properly. Therefore, it’s crucial to determine the early symptoms of mental issues to know how to counter their effects. 

2. It’s Not Easy To Know The Root Causes Of Cognitive Decline

Although cognitive issues aren’t considered a foreign topic in the medical field, there’s still much to know about these conditions. First, it’s important to recognize that the root causes of cognitive decline may vary. Similarly, it’s challenging to determine the potential outcome of this condition since it may lead to different mental diseases or improve over time.

For instance, you may notice that your elderly loved one’s mild cognitive impairment may remain stable for years, but it suddenly progresses to dementia or Alzheimer’s. The impacts of this condition may also vary depending on the severity of the case.

Thus, it’s best to encourage your loved ones to seek professional help once you notice the early signs of cognitive decline. 

3. Cognitive Decline May Lead To Other Complications

Aside from progressing into other forms of cognitive-related issues, cognitive impairment may also lead to other health issues. For starters, mild cognitive decline may develop to a lesser degree in dementia and Alzheimer’s cases. It may also increase the risks of Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewey bodies, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Notably, researchers suggest that around 10-15% of people with mild cognitive impairment develop dementia over the years. Additionally, many experts believe that cognitive decline may cause the hippocampus to shrink, drastically reduce glucose levels, and enlarge the brain’s ventricles.

People suffering from cognitive decline also become more prone to hormonal imbalances, delirium, and psychiatric illnesses.

4. You Can Slow Down The Occurrence Of Cognitive Decline

Although there’s still limited information about the measures that’d help prevent the development of cognitive decline among older adults, one can do many things to slow down its occurrence. These may include the following:

  • Avoid excessive drinking
  • Avoid smoking
  • Control early signs of diabetes, hypertension, and obesity
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle
  • Exercise regularly
  • Follow a balanced diet
  • Stimulate the mind regularly with puzzles, memory training, and games

Also, to get specialized care for your loved ones, you can seek help from assisted living facilities like CBCS and other similar care providers.  

Bottom Line

One of the downsides of aging is the risk of cognitive impairment. This condition refers to the gradual changes in one’s mental capacities, making it more challenging to perform daily activities. Not just that, but seemingly-simple cognitive issues may also affect one’s thinking, memory, language, and judgment. What’s worse is this condition may lead to more severe cases of dementia and death.

Therefore, it’s essential to know what this condition is and the proper measures to counter its impacts effectively. For better care and assistance, you can seek help from reliable service providers that offer specialized care for people with dementia and other cognitive impairments. You can also encourage your loved one to consult professionals to get adequately checked.