Cognitive decline is a scary term, mostly because it is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. And although these can be frightening things to experience when a family member is going through them, cognitive decline is a much more general term than this and can be applied more broadly across the senior population. Not all cognitive decline is Alzheimer’s disease. Not all cognitive decline is permanent.
One way to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to preventing cognitive issues is to be regularly screened. However, this process was once quite complex and was too difficult to be accurately done in a clinical setting. Doctors did not see patients often enough to be able to do this with accuracy, and family members can sometimes be unreliable.
The American Academy of Neurology recommends that people age 65 and older should be screened on a yearly basis for cognitive decline issues. This might seem unnecessary to many, especially because mild cognitive impairment is very rarely detected in the people that suffer from it. Much of the time, these things can either be overlooked as a moment of confusion or are not even noticeable. However, by finding these thinking and memory issues early on, researchers believe that they can help to slow down their spread.
This might seem like an early age to start checking for cognitive decline, but the AAN has published that about 7 percent of people in the early 60s suffer from this. Very few of these individuals are diagnosed at this stage by a doctor. Bringing this to the light might be the best way to help people in the early stages of decline take control of their life back.
Ideally, by measuring all patients that are over 65, doctors can start to improve the care that they give to the people that they serve. Thanks to the fact that measuring the quality of thinking skills that a person possesses is fairly cost effective, it is believed that these regular checkups may also help doctors to detect Alzheimer’s and other serious forms of dementia with more accuracy. Studies show that when these things are detected early on, the quality of life that someone experiences can often be improved for longer periods of time.
Caring for an older loved one suffering from dementia is not easy. Anyone who has witnessed what Alzheimer’s can do to someone knows this. By eliminating or slowing down the damage that dementia can do to someone, the people that we love can live better lives. In-home senior care shares that same common mission. Our goal here is to help the people that you love live a better life, regardless of what difficulties that might be up against in their senior years. The aging process can take a toll on memory and physical ability, and knowing that your parent is being helped by someone with the right experience and knowledge can be a big step toward not just helping them, but helping you to live a more stress-free life, too.