Managing Older Patients with Cognitive Impairment
Cognitive decline, also known as cognitive impairment, is related to a person’s inability to think, store memory, and concentrate on a specific thing. It is not supposedly related to aging. Some older adults are falling prey to this acquired decline in thought process. It can be temporary and permanent as well.
Cognitive impairment which is mild in nature ranges from 3% to 42% in those over 65 years. However, excessive cognitive decline is more prominent in aged people; they tend to forget trivial things in the beginning and gradually forget almost everything. They find it hard to make decisions and proceed with the instructions or planning provided by others.
If you have older people around you, relatives or friends, you must be excessively concerned about their deteriorating mental condition. It is alarming for those older adults who are comparatively younger in age and least expected to be affected by cognitive impairment.
Cognitive impairment can result from different reasons; it can be an outcome of high-dosage medicine, narcotics, psychiatric illness, infection, or problem with the hormones. No matter what is the cause of cognitive decline, you can treat it if diagnosed in the early stages. All you have to do is read the article thoroughly and not miss any detail.
Steps to Manage Older Patients with Cognitive Decline
The following steps should be kept in mind while dealing with older adults diagnosed with cognitive impairment.
Finding a Primary Care Health Center
If you have older adults in your family or friends who are showing symptoms of cognitive decline, the first thing is to start searching for a primary care office near your area. You can start your search by browsing online websites for primary care doctors that lie in close proximity to your place.
The best thing about medicare centers is that they have primary care doctors and physicians on duty almost all the time. They can provide assistance at any time, which is impossible at home. Most people in Europe opt for medicare health centers to provide better assistance and attention to their loved ones.
Or you can start searching for online doctors that are serving in the concerned field. You will get quite a few searches; you can ask your queries in their FAQs or directly visit their clinic.
Take an Appointment with a Doctor
The next step is to arrange an appointment with the selected primary health care center or nearby doctor. A proper appointment is central for a proper checkup.
Sometimes the patients (or families) are reluctant to share the correct details of the impairment because of the fear of being diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In this case, primary care doctors can explain the benefits of finding out what may be the concerns behind the patient’s deteriorating condition.
In addition, a primary care physician may conduct a personal evaluation or refer the patient to a different specialist such as a neurologist, psychiatrist, or neuropsychologist for better understanding.
Counseling and Private Interviews
One of the main concerns while dealing with older patients regarding cognitive impairment is that they are relatively reluctant to share their emotions and feelings. They will hardly talk about their issues with you. Primary care doctors in this regard are specially trained to minimize the conversation gap and treat them like children by building trust.
Once the trust is built, the patient will gradually open up about the psychological and cognitive dilemmas they are facing. In extreme cases, where there are fewer chances of making a bond with a patient, primary care doctors can carry out private interviews in the presence of their family members. It helps in giving them the impression that they are with their loved ones.
Prescribing the Medicine
If diagnosed in the early stages, cognitive decline can be reversed to some extent by constant check and balance, appointments, and prescribing of medicine. To provide proper relaxation and mental peace to the patient, primary care physicians prescribe particular medicine which helps the patient.
In addition, medicine will make them less subjected to other diseases related to psychology and neurology. In the start, the primary care physicians can start the medicine with a low dose to avoid any alarming reaction. Once the body is used to the medications, the dose can gradually be increased to achieve the desired outcome.
Laboratory Testing for Better Results
At times, a physical and emotional examination is not enough to check the causes behind the cognitive decline. In complex cases, laboratory tests are preferable, such as blood tests to trace the blood sugar level, proper kidney functioning, and thyroid test.
Along with that, you can also perform tests like complete blood count and brain imaging in case of any recent or previous injury to one or many parts of the brain. Brain imaging aids in proper and better treatment of the patient.
In addition, laboratory tests and brain imaging can alarm primary care doctors about any health risk in the near future. With the help of proper assessment and medication, the risk can be prevented.
Medicare Daycare for Older Patients
Some of the older patients can live ahead with their family members, while others need 24/7 assistance. They require a reasonable check and balance throughout the day. In severe cases of cognitive decline, they can hardly eat their food. They have to be fed, cleaned, and guided for every possible action.
Providing this kind of attention is near to impossible in homes; for that, we have numerous medicare caregivers who provide full-fledged assistance to the patient. If you think you are unable to give proper attention, you can search for medicare caregivers near you. And benefit from the best that suits you in every way.
Cognitive impairment is usually overlooked by many people, including the patients themselves. They tend to put the blame on rapid aging and are very casual about it. However, ignoring it can lead to serious and more chronic diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
They are more like children, so the best way to manage them is by making their life easy and straight. Moreover, by working with primary care doctors and physicians, we can eliminate or easily manage cognitive impairment and provide a better life for those struggling with cognition and emotions.