Everyone will agree that it is quite common to hear people attribute forgetfulness to growing older and for the most part, it is. For a majority of people, it is not unusual to experience some sort of age-related cognitive decline but it is also important to note that this isn’t just noticeable in a person’s ability to remember places, names etc. but has other effects as well.
A common consensus is that cognitive decline can begin after mid-life and really starts to show when people reach their 70s. Very little decline can be seen when a person hits the 50’s so it isn’t much of an issue until a person advances in age.
Common Signs of Age-Related Cognitive Decline
As with anything, knowing what to look out for will always give you a bit of an edge especially when it comes to how you handle things. So, what are the signs you need to look out for? Below are some of the most common ones that can signal cognitive decline.:
- Confusion – This isn’t your average run of the mill confusion like when a certain new concept or piece of tech causes pause and some doubts. When it comes to cognitive decline in older people, this will be confusion about things they ordinarily have no problems with such as their way home, what they’re doing, etc.
- Poor motor coordination – This will be apparent when older people show deficits in coordination when performing multi-joint and bimanual movements. You can see this when their movements appear less smooth and much slower especially when they move the joints of their elbows and shoulders simultaneously and not a single joint action.
- Identity confusion – This is when they start confusing people and their names. This is especially apparent when they get confused even while dealing with people they usually interact with.
- Impaired judgment – This can be marked by an older person making decisions that seem silly or downright inappropriate. One scene that can illustrate this would be when Dr. Selvig (in Thor) was brought to a mental health clinic for deciding to run around in his underpants. He didn’t have cognitive decline but it’s mostly to illustrate what impaired judgment may like for people with age-related cognitive decline.
- Loss ort short-term and long-term memory – This can ne exhibited when an older person forgets what he is currently doing or starts being unable to remember long-term memory events.
Cognitive decline in older people can have physical signs which maybe in the form of them looking a but dazed and confused. It is quite common to people suffering from age-related cognitive decline to have a rather marked glazed look in their eyes. That lack of alertness, especially for someone that is normally so alert, can be counted as a symptom.
It is important to be aware of these signs and symptoms especially if you are concerned about an elderly relative or just want to be more informed. The more knowledge you have means the more prepared you can be for the battle ahead.