Signs of cognitive decline
Officially, dementia requires that a person experience a significant decline in two of the five areas of core mental functioning:
1) visual perception;
2) reasoning and judgment;
3) the ability to focus and pay attention;
4) memory; and
5) communication and language.
Slight declines in any of these areas may be signs of normal aging, but the normal aging process does not involve a significant decline in any of these core areas. That does not mean that significant cognitive impairment always signals dementia; these areas can be impacted by other health conditions, as well. While cognitive decline can be caused by other things and might actually be reversible, dementia, which is a generally permanent and degenerative form of cognitive decline is not a normal part of the aging process. Anyone who has noticed a decline in cognitive functioning that is interfering with daily living should see a doctor to try to determine the root cause of the impairment and explore available treatments.
If it is determined that you or a loved one is experiencing dementia, then you may be wondering about daytime care options. Many of us can provide in-home care for our loved ones during the evening hours, but need to be away during working hours. Others may be home all the time, but need a respite type caregiving setting to give the primary caregiver a break. South Amboy Adult Day Health Care Center’s Dementia Care can provide the backup you need to care for a loved one experiencing a decline in cognitive functioning.