4 Reasons for Dementia & Memory Loss in Seniors

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Reasons for Cognitive Degeneration in Aging Adults in Des Moines, IA

Dementia is common among seniors and aging adults and results in impaired memory. Caring for seniors with dementia can be a challenge for families. Here are a few reasons for memory loss and dementia and tips on how you can help your aging loved one stave off these conditions. 

1. Physical Injuries

A traumatic injury is one of the leading causes of memory loss. If your loved one has experienced this type of injury, he or she is at a higher risk for facing difficulty with thinking, reasoning, learning, paying attention, speaking, and solving problems. To prevent memory loss from progressing, consider recreational therapy activities for your loved one. Recreational therapy can boost the ability to understand, process information, and communicate more effectively. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

2. Poor Diet

A healthy diet is necessary to keep the brain functioning properly. If your loved one has poor eating habits, his or her body cannot convert tryptophan into neurotransmitters. If the brain is unable to produce usable energy, the cells responsible for its functioning won’t have access to the fuel they require. To promote healthy eating, consult a dietician and try including the following elements in your loved one’s diet: 
  • Healthy fats and proteins
  • Vitamins, especially B, C, and E
  • Minerals (sodium, potassium, and calcium) 
In Des Moines, at-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

3. Smoking

Chronic smoking can speed up memory loss in seniors. Tobacco smoke from cigarettes results in a loss in brain volume in seniors. Constant smoking may diminish vital functions of the brain, such as cognitive flexibility, the speed of learning and memory processing, and the working memory. Encourage your loved one to quit smoking immediately to prevent or slow down the progression of dementia and memory loss.

4. Medications

Taking prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause many unwanted side effects, including an increase in memory impairment. This is because some medications negatively affect the chemicals responsible for transmitting nerve signals throughout the body. Neurotransmitters are a vital component of your loved one’s nervous system, and when they’re damaged, his or her cognitive abilities may begin to decrease at a faster rate. Speak with your loved one’s doctor about alternative treatment options. You’ll also need to monitor your loved one’s behavior and report any changes in cognitive abilities to the doctor as soon as possible.  Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Des Moines families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438.


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