There are three tropes associated with old age: grey hair, a cane, and always forgetting the location of their keys or glasses. Small lapses in memory seem to be an inevitable side effect of becoming a senior, and in most cases it only causes minor frustration for both the individual in question and their family. However, absent-mindedness may have serious consequences, especially if the elderly relative insists on maintaining an independent lifestyle. Forgetting to take a medicine or accidentally eating food they are allergic to, for example, is not something anyone should underestimate. But don’t become terrified, the condition can be kept under control.
Absent-Mindedness Doesn’t Equal Dementia
A common mistake made by family members is that they see small bumps in a senior’s memory as a sign of dementia. Even though cognitive degradation is a part of old age, forgetfulness doesn’t always leads to dementia. The latter refers to significant memory problems, such as being unable to recall significant information because of the memory loss, troubles with decision-making and the inability to cope with everyday situations.
Seniors who are simply absent-minded are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, they just need to pause sometimes to recall where they left certain items and may occasionally struggle to remember the names of old friends, but otherwise have no problem holding a conversation.
There is an intermediate phase between absent-mindedness and dementia called mild cognitive impairment, which might indicate that the elderly person is developing serious memory-related issues. The biggest giveaway of such symptoms is that the patient exhibits an increase in absent-minded behavior, indicating that the cognitive decline is accelerating. Even though people with mild cognitive impairment can still take care of themselves, letting them live independently is a bit riskier and therefore it is wise to make use of activity monitoring or caregiver assistance.
Exercises That Sharpen the Mind
Even though it’s anatomically incorrect, try to think about the brain as another muscle of your body. Often the reason for a senior’s cognitive degradation is because they use their mind less and less as they sit in their home repeating the same tasks over and over. Unless they perform mental gymnastics on a regular basis, the lack of stimulation could lead to their brain weakening and perhaps even ultimately lead to their memory failing.
In order to prevent the brain from getting out of shape, seniors are recommended to solve quizzes, crosswords, read books and even play some mind-twisting smartphone games, if they are tech-savvy enough. Watching the television isn’t a good option though, it’s considered to be the ‘chewing gum for the brain’ since being an active participant in a task is the whole point of any exercise. Frequent socialization contributes a lot to the mental well-being of the elderly, too, and therefore they should be encouraged to visit their friends or make new ones at the local community center.
Medical Alert Products That Help Coping with Forgetfulness
If a senior shows signs of absent-mindedness, the prudent action is to arm them with products and services that will help the aging person cope with the memory hiccups. Medical alert bracelets and the vial of life are the most convenient reminders for seniors since they will help to remind them of their medical history or allergies. If it comes to it, they can simply look at their accessory or pull the document out of its wall-mounted folder.
However, subscribing to a medical alert system achieves the same results but on a higher level, because seniors are able to contact the monitoring agents with any questions. The staff is trained to be sympathetic and helpful in any situation, not to mention that they have the user’s data on file so they can answer health-related questions too.
In addition, key safe boxes and medication dispensers are integral parts of the accessory list of any medical alert company. Having a separate box on the wall that stores a spare copy of the keys is a relief for seniors, since the idea of locking themselves out of the house won’t haunt them anymore. The safe boxes are opened with a number they can store on their medication bracelet or in a phone’s memory. Medication dispensers automatically dish out pre-set amounts of pills up to six times per day. Philips Lifeline even went one step further and connected their dispenser to their monitoring service, meaning that the agents will be alerted if the senior misses out on doses.
Best Medical Alert Systems of 2019
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