What Can You Do to Help Keep Your Parent’s Brain Sharp?

There are more than 5 million people throughout the United States who are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. This progressive condition impacts cognitive functioning, memory, as well as physical health and well-being to eventually cause your senior not to be able to care for themselves. While there is nothing that you can do to stop Alzheimer’s from progressing through the condition or to cure Alzheimer’s, there are steps that you can take to help your parent maintain more functioning and support a stronger mind throughout their later years.

Homecare in San Francisco CA: What Can You Do to Help Keep Your Parent’s Brain Sharp?

Some of the things that your aging parent can do to keep their brain sharp and responsive include:

  • Learning. You are never too old to learn, and in fact, learning continuously throughout their life will help to keep their brain sharper and stronger, and preserve their functioning for as long as possible. Encourage your loved one to choose a topic or subject that interests them and work together to learn as much as possible through research, reading, volunteering, clubs, and any other opportunity.
  • Enjoy sensory stimulation. The more your loved one stimulates their senses, the sharper their mind will be. Encourage your loved one to use their senses as much as possible in a variety of ways. Go look at beautiful sights or visit a fabric store and enjoy the patterns. Visit an ethnic neighborhood and smell and taste the cuisine. Listen to music or go on a walk and try to identify the sounds of animals and birds.
  • Do not fall victim to myths about aging. Studies have shown that people who believe in the myths about aging are more likely to experience the negative cognitive effects of aging. If your parent believes that they are going to suffer memory loss and not be able to think as clearly or effectively just because they are “old”, then they are far more likely to actually experience these symptoms. Encourage your parent not to fall victim to these myths and instead believe in themselves and their abilities as they age in place.

If your elderly loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, or their challenges have reached a point that they are too extensive for you to feel that you can handle them confidently, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be there with your elderly parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they receive the care, support, assistance, and other services that they need while also keeping you at the forefront of their care. This can mean helping them to manage their personal care tasks, providing safe and reliable transportation, providing meaningful reminders to help them stay compliant with their medications and treatment, and support a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, and independent as possible as they progress through their condition. As a family caregiver this can be tremendously reassuring and help you to feel confident knowing that your parent is getting everything that they need both when you are able to be with them and when you are not.

Sources:

http://www.alzheimersanddementia.com/article/S1552-5260(15)02447-4/abstract

http://www.alz.org/10-signs-symptoms-alzheimers-dementia.asp

http://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp

Evan Loevner, CEO

As a former hospital administrator, I launched Aviva with the goal of having a more focused, direct impact on the delivery of care than I could ever accomplish within a hospital setting. For me, the joy of running an organization like Aviva In-Home Care is having the ability to positively improve the lives of individuals needing customized care. As a passionate San Francisco resident, I know that many local seniors can benefit from new approaches to in-home care, that will bring them more connection to the community, and provide families with a greater sense of comfort that their loved one is indeed matched with an ideal caregiver. This starts by including the family throughout the care planning process, a key component of the concept of “family-centered care,” which has been adopted by top medical centers. A strong communication loop between family, the caregiver, Aviva management, and community healthcare practitioners is essential for ensuring that all the needs of the client are met. While this may not sound like a novel concept, it is not commonly practiced within the home care community.

At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.

As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.