Health and cognitive decline

Kenzie LaNoue

Healthy lifestyles are encouraged for all populations. However, the elderly population is often neglected when it comes to addressing health promotions.

Evidence shows that exercising, participating in learning activities, and visiting with peers can help prevent the loss of functional capacity and improve an individual’s overall quality of life. The three main health focuses for the elderly are maintaining and increasing functional capacity, maintaining or improving self-care, and continuing to build social networks.

Cognitive decline among the older population has significantly increased over the last few years and is becoming more common in late adulthood. Cognitive impairment can affect a person’s ability to remember new tasks, walk on their own, and making safe decisions.

Cognitive decline is “normal” among the aging population but every individual is affected differently, some may have severe impairment compared to others who may have mild impairment. The three cognitive domains that change with age are intelligence, learning and memory.

Common signs that may fit under these three domains may be adapting to change, forgetting where one’s room is, and behaviors.

It is important to continue to educate populations on the importance of healthy lifestyles and how common cognitive decline is becoming at an early age.

Kenzie Lenoue is a Social Work Intern at Benedictine Living Community of Wahpeton.

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