When we were young, we didn’t worry too much about personal health risks, especially if it was something “older-me” would handle. Well, now that we are “older-me,” it’s important to learn and take proactive steps to maintain a healthy mind and body to the best of our ability. Here at Atherton Place, a Marietta senior housing community, we have the knowledge, experience, and setting to help you or your loved ones stay as happy, healthy, and active as possible.
One of the top concerns that people have about growing older is cognitive decline or dementia. While there is currently no means of totally preventing memory loss, there are proven ways of reducing the risk and delaying cognitive decline.
What is Dementia?
As we age, our brain naturally ages with us resulting in a gradual decrease in brain function due to lost neurons. People with dementia, however, experience a far greater and much quicker loss of neurons resulting in an accelerated decline in brain function. Think of how our joints generally get stiffer and more temperamental as we get older, but something like arthritis can lead to a quicker and more severe loss of joint mobility.
While dementia is a term most often associated with memory loss, it’s also used to describe a decline in thinking, reasoning, and social abilities. When these symptoms begin to interfere with daily life, it’s often diagnosed as dementia.
With about one-third of all people aged 85+ developing some form of dementia, it’s important to know what it is, how to identify it, as well as what can be done to delay its onset.
What Does Dementia Look Like?
Dementia affects millions of people around the world to varying severities and early symptoms aren’t always the same. Due to the complexity of dementia, doctors must consider medical history, examinations and tests, and types of changes the patient is experiencing when diagnosing forms of dementia. That being said, the most common signs are:
- Short-term memory issues
- Difficulty planning or organizing
- Declining motor function and balance
- Issues when traveling outside the home or neighborhood
- Trouble speaking, reading, or writing
- Difficulty understanding and expressing thoughts
- Confusion and disorientation
- Psychological changes such as
- Loss of care for others
- Inappropriate behavior
- Paranoia, hallucinations, delusions
Because everyone is different, it’s important to not compare our own and others’ current abilities with how they change over time. For example, sufferers of ADHD have likely dealt with short-term memory issues their whole life. So, unless it gets noticeably worse, that should not be a red flag.
It’s important to note that, while there are things we can do that can help decrease the risk of dementia, scientists have yet to identify a way of completely preventing its development. Thankfully, research is constantly being conducted in hopes of one day stopping it entirely.
According to a report on published research, there are three kinds of interventions that support “encouraging but inconclusive” results:
- Cognitive training
- Blood pressure management for people with hypertension
- Increased physical activity
Although dementia research is incomplete, these three lifestyle changes have presented enough significance for delaying and slowing dementia’s progression to warrant further investigation.
How Our Marietta Senior Housing Promotes Wellbeing
Our Marietta senior housing community and team understand the profound importance of all three of these. We encourage and promote fun, healthy, active living through the amenities, activities, and social opportunities that we provide.
Atherton Place’s community enjoys a complimentary daytime membership to Health Place, WellStar’s 55,000-square-foot medically-based fitness center, and a warm water pool just a two-minute walk from our front door. Health Place offers water aerobics, treadmills, an indoor walking track, massage therapy, personal training, and more.
Residents also have access to outpatient physical therapy and rehabilitation services from OrthoSport WellStar. Additionally, there is medication support, nutritional advice, and other services to help them stay as healthy and happy as possible.
Atherton Place, Marietta’s Premier Senior Housing Community
For over 30 years, Atherton Place has been continually building trust and fostering a happy and healthy community here in Georgia. Our residents, together with our caring team of experts and state-of-the-art amenities, inspire a fun and active lifestyle that keeps the mind and body feeling healthier and happier.
As part of the Wellstar Healthcare System, our residents have access to one of the top health and wellness resources available in the Southeast. Come see what makes our one-of-a-kind senior housing in Marietta special. Join us for lunch and meet our staff and residents. Click here to talk with us and schedule a tour.