Cognitive Health and Older Adults
Brain health can be affected by age-related changes in the brain, injuries such as stroke or traumatic brain injury, and a combination of healthy lifestyle behaviors may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Manage High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure in middle age increases the risk of cognitive decline later in life; to control or lower high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend exercise, dietary changes, and medications, all of which can help protect your brain and heart.
Eat Healthy Foods
A healthy diet can help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, as well as dementia. There is some evidence that people who eat a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of dementia, while the typical Western diet may increase cardiovascular disease risk, contributing to faster brain aging.
Be Physically Active
Physical activity can help you maintain and improve your strength, improve your balance, and prevent or delay heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, is thought to be more beneficial to cognitive health. Federal guidelines recommend that all adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
Keep Your Mind Active
Being intellectually engaged may benefit the brain. Participation in activities such as music, theater, and dance has shown promise in improving quality of life and well-being in older adults. While these types of mentally stimulating activities have not been proven to prevent serious cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease, some scientists have argued that they may protect the brain by establishing a connection between the brain and the environment.
Stay Connected with Social Activities
Make sure any activities you plan during the COVID-19 pandemic follow CDC guidelines. Connecting with other people through social activities and community programs can keep your brain active, and participating in social activities may reduce your risk of certain health problems and improve your well-being.
Chronic stress can change the brain, affect memory, and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. There are many things you can do to manage stress, including exercising regularly, writing in a journal, and practicing relaxation techniques.
Reduce Risks to Cognitive Health
Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal disorders, and Lewy body dementia are examples of dementia. Dementia is defined as the loss of cognitive functioning, which includes thinking, remembering, and reasoning. Symptoms may include problems with language skills, visual perception, or paying attention.
Physical and Mental Health Problems
Heart disease and high blood pressure can cause stroke and changes in blood vessels in the brain, and depression has been linked to dementia. Delirium manifests itself as an acute state of confusion, often during hospital stays.
Overcoming a fear of falling can help you stay active and prevent future falls. Alcohol and certain medications can impair a person’s ability to drive safely, increasing the risk of accidents and brain injury. Wear helmets and seat belts to protect yourself from head injuries.
Food, dietary supplements, alcohol, and other substances can interact with medicines, and some of these interactions can affect how your brain functions. Do not stop taking any medications you’ve been prescribed without first consulting your doctor.
Lack of Physical Activity
Staying active is known to lower the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and depression symptoms, all of which can improve cognitive health. Lack of exercise and other physical activity may increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, depression, and stroke.
Foods high in fat and sodium can cause health problems like heart disease and diabetes, which can harm the brain.
Smoking is harmful to your body and brain, increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke, and lung disease. Quitting smoking at any age can improve your health.
Drinking too much alcohol affects the brain by slowing or impairing communication between brain cells, which can result in slurred speech, fuzzy memory, drowsiness, and dizziness, as well as changes in balance, memory, emotions, coordination, and body temperature in the long run.
According to researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, getting a good night’s sleep can help with memory, concentration, and other cognitive functions.
Social Isolation and Loneliness
Loneliness has been linked to an increased risk of dementia, and a lack of social activity has been linked to poorer cognitive function; by taking steps now to reduce your risk of cognitive decline, you can help to ensure your cognitive health in the future.
For More Information About Cognitive Health
Call 800-438-4380 (toll-free) or visit www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers for information and free print publications about Alzheimer’s and related dementias for families, caregivers, and health professionals. ADEAR staff answer phone, email, and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.
How can you help an elderly person understand their rights?
You can discuss your rights with an advocate or go to the website of the Older Persons Advocacy Network; the Charter of Aged Care Rights booklet can also assist you in understanding your rights and how to exercise them.
How do you understand old people?
10 Ways to Communicate with an Elderly Person
- Listen to What Your Elderly Parent Is Saying.
- Accept Differences of Opinion.
- Speak Clearly.
- Don’t Be Condescending.
- Choose the Right Environment.
- Consider What It Is Like To Be Older.
What are the functional needs of elderly?
Feeding, continence, transferring, toileting, dressing, and bathing are examples of basic activities of daily living (ADLs), which are normally performed independently. However, as the frail elderly become increasingly unable to perform these tasks, they require more and more caregiving assistance.
What psychologist helps elderly?
A geriatric psychologist is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of the elderly, which may include mental health issues or assisting in the understanding and coping with the aging process. To become a geriatric psychologist, one must first obtain a doctoral degree in psychology with a focus on adult development and aging.
What strategies can you use to support the older person to be more empowered?
How can older people in aged care be empowered?
- Brainstorming fun activities.
- Assisting them in connecting with others.
- Finding simpler ways to get things done.
- Developing a diurnal plan.
- Doing research.
- Assisting them in helping others.
What are five major rights that older person have regarding care?
Independence, Participation, Care, Self-fulfillment, and Dignity are among the principles.
How do you communicate with elderly?
TWENTY COMMUNICATION SUGGESTIONS
- Allow extra time for older patients.
- Reduce visual and auditory distractions.
- Sit face to face with the patient.
- Don’t underestimate the power of eye contact.
- Listen without interrupting the patient.
- Speak slowly, clearly, and loudly.
What are the four major old age problems?
Dementia, psychotic depression, personality changes, mood swings, aggression, and other mental health issues affect the elderly.
What questions should I ask an elderly person?
How to Interrogate an Elderly Person About Their Life
- When and where were you born?
- If you have brothers and sisters, what are your favorite memories with them?
- What were your favorite pastimes as a child?
- Did you have any family pets as a child?
- What were your school memories?
What is the 10 minute geriatric screener?
The 10-minute Targeted Geriatric Assessment (10-TaGA) is a CGA-based tool that uses the cumulative deficit model to screen for geriatric syndromes and estimate patients’ global impairment.
What are the three most common functional tests for older adults?
The usual gait speed test, the Short Physical Performance Battery, handgrip strength, the Timed Up-and-Go test, the 6-minute walk test, and the 400-meter walk test are among the most commonly used instruments by clinicians and researchers.
Who needs geriatric assessment?
Understanding Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) CGA is a timely assessment for people over the age of 70, as well as after a doctor detects a potential health risk.
How do we treat the elderly?
Treating the Elderly with Dignity and Respect
- Listening carefully to elders is one of the most important actions family members and caregivers can take in caring for them.
- Affording Respect.
- Understanding Values.
- Relinquishing Independence.
What are psychological changes in the elderly?
Although most older adults report good mental health and have fewer mental health problems than other age groups, one in every four older adults suffers from a mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or dementia, and the suicide rate among men over 85 is higher than any other age group.
How can elderly improve mental health?
6 Ways to Improve Seniors’ Mental Health
- Play Mind Games. Just as the body requires physical activity and stimulation to remain healthy, the brain requires stimulation to remain sharp and avoid cognitive decline as we age.
- Get Physical.
- Stay Connected with Friends.
- Pick up a New Hobby.
- Pet Care.