May 2, 2018 at 9:35 pm · Senior Living Georgia · Comments Off on 5 Signs of Elderly Cognitive Decline You Shouldn’t Ignore
Is your elderly loved one starting to forget things? It may be no big deal, or it could be a sign of something more serious. Learn about the most common signs of cognitive decline that may indicate the onset of cognitive difficulties.
Watch for the Warning Signs of Cognitive Decline
Getting older is never easy, especially when it means losing the ability to do the things you love. Mild cognitive impairment in a loved one is often the beginning of a new stage of life. Here’s a guide to cognitive decline symptoms and how you can spot them in an aging friend or parent.
1. Memory Challenges
We’re all guilty of forgetting something important now and then. When forgetfulness becomes a habit, it may be one of the signs of mental decline.
When your loved one starts forgetting major pieces of their life, it can become hard to ignore this sign of cognitive decline. This can mean asking a close family member if they have children or not recalling the face of a friend they know well.
It can be difficult to confront, but it is important to do. This is especially important if your loved one is still living independently.
2. Walking Becomes More Difficult
Multi-tasking can be hard for the brain. When the onset of mild cognitive impairment begins, it gets even harder. Because the brain is struggling to keep up on tasks, what was once easy becomes harder.
Difficulty walking is one of the classic cognitive decline symptoms. If walking becomes difficult and symptoms are not due to injury or stroke, you should urge your loved one to consult a doctor.
Failing to do so when these risks factors are present could put your loved one at a higher risk for falls. These risk factors make it necessary to begin the conversation about your loved one’s living accommodations.
3. Inability to Handle Daily Tasks
Seeing a loved one struggle with cognitive decline symptoms can be devastating. Another easy way to spot symptoms that they may be embarrassed to share it through problem-solving observation.
If you’re loved one is finding it difficult or mentally exhausting to complete tasks, they may be struggling with mild cognitive impairment. This can mean no longer understanding how to pay bills, when to put the trash out, or how to use the phone.
This is an important symptom to watch for if your loved one lives alone, because without supervision they may have difficulty caring for themselves.
4. Difficulty with Mental Focus
Staying present can become especially difficult in the early stages of mental decline. This symptom may not seem as serious as some of the others, but it is often the lack of focus that leads to forgetfulness.
A wandering mind may not seem like a danger when it means phone conversations become distracted or thoughts become scattered. When you aren’t on the line, it could mean leaving the stove on and ending up in a tragic but preventable situation.
5. They Come to You
If you’re lucky enough to have a loved one who is self-aware enough to know that they are entering a stage of mental decline, count yourself lucky!
Many find it difficult to broach the topic for fear of insulting an elder. If your loved one comes to you, take the initiative to do the legwork for them. They may be especially motivated by a recent event that they aren’t comfortable revealing.
Making a Plan Together
Let your loved one know what their options are and make a decision together about what actions to take before they face a cognitive decline. It’s important to make choices that make sense for the both of you and doesn’t leave either party feeling overly extended.
Finding a place that caters to their unique needs is easier than ever. It’ll give you both peace of mind and can be the beginning of an exciting new chapter of life!
For more information on assisted living and senior living communities, visit us online. There’s so much to look forward to in life, let your loved one enjoy their years ahead in the safety of an esteemed adult living community.