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4 Things That Speed Up Cognitive Impairment

By Beth Brown, 9:00 am on

Memory loss and dementia are common among aging adults. However, there are some factors that can speed up the rate of cognitive degeneration and make your senior loved one highly susceptible to dementia. Palm Beach Home Care Assistance experts discuss a few factors that may be deteriorating your senior loved one’s brain function faster than you know.

1. Other Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions prevalent in seniors, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and high-blood pressure, have been linked to increased cognitive impairment. If not treated, these medical conditions can speed up memory loss. You can assist your loved one by reminding him or her to take medications on time and consult regularly with his or her physician.

2. Depression

Seniors with untreated depression are more susceptible to cognitive impairment than those who do not have depression or who receive appropriate treatment, whether in the form of medication or therapy. You can help your loved one by watching out for signs of depression, such as loss of appetite and insomnia, and seeking professional help if you believe he or she is depressed.

3. Genetics

While genetic heritage cannot be changed, you can increase your knowledge and plan ahead. Do your best to get a family history, especially if your senior loved one’s parents and grandparents lived to be over 65. This information will let you know what to expect, and it can be useful to your loved one’s physician in terms of creating long-term plans to manage cognitive impairment.

4. Medication Side Effects

Some medications can play a role in slowing cognitive decline, including beta-blockers, corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory medications, and some antibiotics. The good news is that the cognitive decline attributed to medications can often be reversed by discontinuing the medication. Your loved one should only stop taking a medication if his or her doctor advises. However, if you are concerned one of your loved one’s medicines is causing cognitive decline, let the doctor know.

Caring for seniors with cognitive impairment, memory loss, and dementia can be a challenge for families. For high-quality dementia care, Palm Beach seniors and their families rely on Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers assist aging adults by helping them take their medicines on time and looking out for signs of dementia. To learn more about our hourly and live-in care plans for seniors with dementia, please contact one of our Care Managers today at 561.429.8292.