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4 Reasons for Cognitive Degeneration in Aging Adults

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Dementia is common among seniors and aging adults and results in an impaired memory. Caring for seniors with dementia can be a challenge for families. Experts in senior care in Fort Myers suggest a few reasons behind memory loss and dementia and offer tips on how you can help your loved one stave off these conditions.

1. Physical Injuries

A traumatic injury is one of the leading causes of memory loss. If your senior loved one has experienced this type of injury, he or she is at a higher risk of facing difficulty in thinking, reasoning, learning, paying attention, speaking, and solving problems. To prevent memory loss from progressing, consider recreational therapy activities for your loved one. Recreational therapy helps boost the ability to understand, process information, and communicate more effectively. 

2. Poor Diet

A healthy diet is necessary to keep your senior loved one’s brain functioning properly. If your aging loved one has poor eating habits, his or her body cannot convert tryptophan into neurotransmitters. If the brain is unable to produce usable energy, the cells responsible for its functioning will not have access to the fuel they require. To promote healthy eating for your senior loved one, consult a dietician and try including the following elements in his or her diet:

  • Healthy fats and proteins 

  • Vitamins, especially B, C, and E 

  • Minerals (sodium, potassium, and calcium)

3. Smoking 

Chronic smoking can speed up memory loss in seniors. Tobacco from cigarette results in a loss in brain volume in seniors. Constant smoking may diminish vital functions of the brain, such as cognitive flexibility, the speed of learning and memory processing, and the working memory. Encourage your senior loved one to quit smoking immediately to prevent or slow down the progression of dementia and memory loss. 

4. Medications 

Taking prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause many unwanted side effects, including an increase in memory impairment. This is because some medications negatively affect the chemicals responsible for transmitting nerve cells to the body. Neurotransmitters are a vital component of your loved one’s nervous system, and when they are damaged, his or her cognitive abilities may begin to decrease at a faster rate. Speak with your senior loved one’s doctor about alternative treatment options. You will also need to monitor your loved one’s behavior and report any changes in cognitive abilities to the doctor as soon as possible.

When it comes to dementia care, Fort Myers, FL, seniors and their families rely on Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers utilize a range of therapies and customized care programs to enhance quality of life for seniors with memory-related conditions. To learn more about how to keep your loved one safe from cognitive degeneration, please contact one of our Care Managers today at 239.449.4701.