Memory loss is a symptom of aging that many people experience as they get older. Cognitive decline can be something as simple as forgetting where you parked your car, all the way up to forgetting you drove to the grocery store in the first place and taking the bus home. One in three seniors will die with some type of dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association. While memory problems for many people will be mild, the thought of losing one's mental faculties is a tough pill to swallow.
Fortunately, there are many ways to help those who are struggling with memory recall. These steps are all simple and easy to perform every day for maximum benefit. Here are six tips for helping seniors with memory loss.
One of the most challenging situations for a person suffering from memory loss is a cluttered life. Keeping a clean and organized home helps you remember where items are. Using a planner that includes a calendar can remind you of important dates and having a notepad to jot down information quickly will also help you organize your thoughts.
Staying mentally active is crucial to stave off memory loss because it helps the brain's pathways keep those connections open and flowing. Playing games, doing puzzles, and taking alternate paths while driving all help you retain those pathways. Another excellent activity that promotes brain health–and also has an abundance of additional benefits–is keeping a journal before you go to sleep each night.
Depression and stress are two ailments commonly many seniors experience, both of which contribute to memory loss. Staying social by maintaining connections with friends and family is an excellent way to reduce these anxieties.
Getting in your daily physical activity is just as important as completing your mental exercises. While nobody expects seniors to regain the bodies they had in their youth, staying physically active for at least 150 minutes per week helps get the blood flowing, including through your brain. Consider activities such as biking or walking briskly to keep you healthy and moving.
Sleep is crucial in consolidating memories so that you can remember them later. Sleep also plays a role in moving events from the short-term to the long-term memory banks in your brain, and as such, getting a good night's sleep each evening can strengthen your memories and reduce memory loss.
The last of our six tips for helping seniors with memory loss is to watch what you eat. Some foods, such as beef, dairy, and fried foods, tend to be high in the bad type of cholesterol, which can negatively impact brain function. Maintaining a diet featuring fruits, nuts, fish, and vegetables will produce good cholesterol, reducing memory loss.
Being Forgetful Might Not Be Dementia
Being forgetful is not necessarily dementia. But dementia will progress, and it will impact your independence. If you or a loved one starts having memory problems along with problems with focus, reasoning, language, and normal communication skills, then discussing these symptoms with a doctor is essential.
Many people with dementia will also suffer mood swings, apathy, inability to find the right word, and problems with performing routine tasks. Many people will have problems with direction and overall confusion. They often get angry when these problems start to occur, and they are unsure why or don't even realize the problem.
A neurologist should be consulted to examine you or your loved one. The specialist will discover if the symptoms are a result of dementia or another cognitive problem. However, sometimes memory loss can be caused by other health issues or medications. If that is the case, the cognitive decline might be able to be reversed.
Usually, the neurologist will order several tests in addition to a complete neurological exam. Blood tests, brain imaging, and cognitive testing will be ordered.
Delaying seeing a doctor is not a good idea as some causes of dementia are a result of medications or health issues that can be treated. If indeed it is some type of dementia, the proper treatment and supervision can be ordered.
Supervision is Required as DementiaProgresses
When dementia progresses, the proper supervision will be necessary to protect the person. The person will also need help with normal daily activities. The cost of long-term care services can drain assets quickly.
Health insurance and Medicare(including supplements) will not pay for memory care and other long-term care services. Only Long-Term Care Insurance offers benefits for this type of care. However, LTC Insurance is medically underwritten, so you can't wait until your memory declines or you have other health problems.
The best time to plan is before you retire, ideally in your 40s or 50s. Be sure to get accurate quotes from the top insurance companies that offer these products. A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist can help you navigate the available options - click here to find a trusted specialist.
Aging happens. In the years ahead, you will face changes in your health, body, and mind. These changes will often cause you to need help with daily activities or even more skilled long-term care services.
Family members who find themselves in the role of caregiver face stress and anxiety. These caregivers often find their own health declining. The caregivers also experience problems in their family relationships and their jobs.
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will offer you guaranteed tax-free benefits that give you the choice of quality care, including in-home care that most people will prefer.
The fact is long-term health care is a significant cash flow issue. LTC Insurance addresses this problem. But long-term care is also a family issue. Without any plan in place, the family will go into crisis mode. The result can be a disaster for you and your family, and your wishes may take a back seat.
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This comprehensive guide is an outstanding first-read - The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide. Be sure to take notes so you can ask the appropriate questions when you speak with a qualified and trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist.
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