Tag Archives: cognitive health

Improve Cognitive Health for Older Adults with These Tips

These tips will help improve cognitive health in older adults.

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.

State of Florida License and Registration Numbers: 30211518, 30211651, 30211295, 30211390, 30210978, 30211293, 30211382, 30211504, 30211733, 30211535, 30211531, 30211710, 30211709, 30211045, 5661

The Link Between Hearing Loss in Seniors and Cognitive Health

hearing loss in seniors

To help maintain health, it’s important to visit the doctor regularly. For older adults with multiple health conditions, several physicians may be part of the senior’s healthcare team, working to keep chronic conditions monitored and under control. It’s no wonder that when an annual hearing exam is recommended, some seniors figure that is one healthcare visit they can postpone or even skip without any true risk to overall health and wellness. But that’s just not true.
According to recent studies, age-related hearing loss has been shown to be associated with cognitive decline and dementia. While researchers are still working to determine the cause behind this link, one emerging theory is that hearing loss can cause people to become withdrawn from conversations and social activities, leading to a lack of stimulation and isolation. Since social interaction is so important to brain health, a decrease may lead to negative long-term cognitive impacts.
Because of the potential link between hearing loss and cognitive function, it’s important to make and keep regular yearly appointments with an audiologist. An audiologist will test for hearing loss and can make recommendations for hearing aids as well. Hearing aids will not only help seniors feel more confident in social interactions, but they help enhance safety, too.

In addition to recommending that older adults maintain cognitive function through regular hearing exams, the senior care experts at American, Advocate, Douglas and Whitsyms In-Home Care offer the following suggestions to help promote brain health:

  • Maintain an active mind. Engaging in hobbies that keep the brain active can help lower the risk of dementia. Consider activities that are challenging, such as learning to play a musical instrument, learning a new language, taking an online class, or doing math or word puzzles.
  • Stay physically active. Regular cardio-based exercise helps promote not only cognitive health, but mental and physical health benefits, too. Start out slow and try building to the recommended 30 minutes per day. Always speak with a physician before starting or adjusting an exercise regimen.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Making healthy food choices and including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in a senior’s diet also provides both cognitive and physical health benefits. Make it a point to reduce foods that contain high amounts of saturated fats, sodium and sugar from the senior’s diet.
  • Stay connected. Maintaining social connections helps keep the brain healthy. Stay connected with friends and family and get involved in the local community. If in-person visits aren’t possible, use the telephone or a conferencing app like Zoom. Conversations provide important mental stimulation and cut down on feelings of isolation.

We’re here to help ensure seniors maintain their cognitive function and overall health and wellbeing. With professional and highly-trained referred care providers, Florida families have trusted American, Advocate, Douglas and Whitsyms In-Home Care since 1992. We offer a variety of in-home care services, including companionship, personal care assistance, specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and so much more. Let us help a senior you love remain active, engaged and thriving in the comfort of home with a customized care plan that promotes cognitive health.

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.

To find out more about the many ways we can help, click on the location below that is nearest to you for additional information:

State of Florida License and Registration Numbers: 30211518, 30211651, 30211295, 30211390, 30210978, 30211293, 30211382, 30211504, 30211733, 30211535, 30211531, 30211710, 30211709, 30211045, 5661