As we get older, our cognitive abilities begin to diminish. Cognitive abilities are the mental skills we use to carry out daily tasks, be they household chores, carrying out tasks in public or pursuing hobbies. Cognitive abilities will gradually deteriorate as we age and this is quite often a normal part of ageing. However, cognitive deterioration can sometimes be symptoms of more serious mental conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Beechfield Healthcare has the following tips on how to be aware of cognitive ageing and the best way of staying safe under such conditions.
Assess the home environment
Cognitive decline can make certain activities in the home potentially dangerous. This includes carrying out household activities and using appliances and tools as the homeowner may experience memory loss or confusion during such tasks. The following pointers highlight some ways to make the home environment safer for someone with cognitive decline.
- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers visible
in the home so that they can be called in case of an emergency. These include numbers for doctors, caregivers, helplines and emergency services. A magnetic sticky pad or sign containing these numbers can be placed on a wall, fridge, mantle or kitchen cabinets.
- Adjust water temperatures
so that the homeowner doesn’t accidentally scald themselves with hot water taps, baths or showers. By placing a limit on water temperature, you can prevent painful accidents.
- Keep the home clutter free
so that the homeowner can move about freely and with as little risk as possible to their personal safety. Develop and plan a routine for household activities and adjust items in the house to meet these routines.
- Be careful with medications.
Leaving various medications around can be dangerous for someone suffering with memory problems. Keep a written schedule of medications, when they need to be used and when they are used to ensure correct dosage daily. When medication is not needed, keep it locked away in a drawer or medicine
- Maintain independence and pursue hobbies.
Cognitive decline can be a serious, daily struggle or an occasional inconvenience. Either way, it is important to maintain independence. Finding a hobby, working on mental-based activities and socialising with others will sharpen the mind and improve emotional health.
If you are worried about your own cognitive abilities or those of a loved one, Beechfield Healthcare are here to help. Feel free to get in touch with us for advice.