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Slowing Cognitive Decline

By February 9, 2015Healthy Aging

Unfortunately, there is no miracle pill that can be given to older adults that suddenly halts cognitive decline. If a person develops Alzheimer’s Disease or any other form of dementia, there is not much that can be done, until we discover a cure for it. However, there are various ways to slow the amount of cognitive decline that occurs in people diagnosed with dementia. That allows you, the caregiver, to play an active role in keeping those golden years golden.

Be Active
Exercise helps build muscles and keeps them strong. There has been mounting evidence that points to physical activity being a great preventative measure in cognitive decline. Thirty minutes of elevating your heart rate has been proven in lab studies to prohibit brain-changing activity that leads to Alzheimer’s Disease. It also leads to boosting your mood and a better emotional well-being.

Therefore, try to incorporate exercise into the daily schedule. It’s also important to realize the physical capabilities of your senior loved one. Occasionally, doing chores around the house is enough of an activity to provide the proper 30 minutes a day. The key is to keep active. The more you can keep your elderly loved one active and moving the less of a cognitive decline will take place.

Manage Blood Pressure
Sometimes cognitive decline comes in the form of vascular dementia which is due in large to a stroke or multiple mini strokes. In order to prevent vascular dementia it’s important to stay on top of their blood pressure as it is a common ailment that leads to strokes. High blood pressure can lead to clots or ruptures in the blood vessels that transport blood to the brain. If this occurs portions of the brain can diminish, causing movement, speaking, and thinking deficiencies.

In order to control a senior loved one’s blood pressure, monitor what they eat. High levels of sodium in their diet can increase blood pressure and increase the chance of a stroke. There are also medications that can help control blood pressure. During your senior loved one’s next doctor’s appointment, make sure they get it checked. If it is too high, their doctor might prescribe medication to keep it regulated. Unfortunately, some of these medications have multiple side effects to them such as dizziness. Keep an eye on their balance because a bad fall can also lead to more cognitive decline.

Stay Social
In various studies, older adults with a wide network of friends and family and actively participates in this network has a greater mental well-being than those who do not. Staying social is a wonderful way to keep the mind active. The brain is just like any other muscle in your body. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.

These tips will not reverse cognitive decline; rather, they will slow it down. These tips to slow cognitive decline are your best bet to provide proper care and keep your senior loved one as happy and healthy as possible!

Image Credit – http://images.wisegeek.com/young-woman-and-elderly-lady.jpg

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