With many people unable to spend time in person with older relatives and loved ones over the past year due to the pandemic, communication has needed to take place over the phone or via a video conferencing app. Maybe during these conversations you’ve picked up that Mom is occasionally confused by what day of the week it is, or perhaps she mentioned that she recently overlooked paying a monthly bill. Are these examples of forgetfulness something to be concerned about? Or are they a normal part of aging?
According to the National Institute on Aging, a certain level of periodic forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. Other examples of mild forgetfulness might include:
- Misplacing things from time-to-time: keys, purse, glasses, cell phone, but being able to locate these items by retracing steps
- Sometimes forgetting a word or someone’s name during the course of a conversation, but remembering it later
- Making a bad decision once in awhile
- Finding it more challenging to juggle multiple tasks
- Occasionally making a mistake in family finances
- Needing to concentrate harder to keep up with a conversation
For older adults, it’s important to remain physically active and mentally engaged in order to maintain cognitive function, things that have been especially challenging for older adults over the past year. The referred care provider experts at American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care offer tips to help seniors maintain cognitive health:
Maintain physical health: Taking care of physical health is a key component in maintaining cognitive health. This includes scheduling and keeping appointments for regular health screenings, managing chronic health conditions, limiting alcohol and tobacco use, and getting plenty of sleep.
Eat a well-balanced diet. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, and eliminating or cutting down on processed foods that can be high in sodium, sugar and fat will benefit both physical and cognitive wellness. Additionally, choose healthy snacks, control portion sizes and drink plenty of water to remain hydrated.
Keep the mind active. Reading, completing word, logic or math puzzles, engaging in a hobby, learning a new language, or taking an online class are all ways in which seniors can improve cognitive health.
Exercise and move every day. Regular, physician-approved exercise not only helps seniors have more energy, increases strength and stamina and improves balance, but it can also improve mental health and prevent chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Engaging in a walk around the neighborhood, gardening, doing housework, or following along with an exercise video all help keep older adults moving.
Maintain social connections. Particularly in light of the social distancing guidelines put into place during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to help seniors maintain social connections. Regular phone calls and video chats with close family and friends, and socially distanced in-person gatherings are vitally important for mental and cognitive health.
At American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care, our referred care providers are experts in helping Florida seniors maintain cognitive health by encouraging engagement in life, while also following health and safety protocols to keep older adults safe. Companion care services are customized to meet the unique needs of each client we serve and can include:
- Friendly companionship and conversation
- Engagement in favorite hobbies, playing board or card games, reading and discussing current events
- Planning and preparing nutritious meals, with attention to dietary needs
- Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and errands
- Light housekeeping and laundry services
- Encouragement to participate in physician-approved exercise routines
- And much more
Reach out today at a location near you to learn more about the difference we can make in the life of a senior you love.
- American In-Home Care – Serving North, Central, and West Coast of Florida
- Advocate In-Home Care – Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
- Whitsyms In-Home Care – Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
State of Florida License and Registration Numbers: 30211518, 30211651, 30211295, 30211390, 30210978, 30211293, 30211382, 30211504, 30211733, 30211535, 30211531, 30211710, 30211709, 30211045, 5661