Does Cognitive Impairment Result in Physical Decline for Care Recipients and Their Caregivers?
By Pamela D Wilson CSA, CG, MS, BS/BA
More than 35% of adults, age 65 and older, report limitations with basic activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing. Research completed relative to the skills of executive function, illustrated by the ability to plan, coordinate tasks, multi-task, recall, control inhibitions and make decisions, indicates that these skills are important in the ability to perform tasks that support independent living.1 Does cognitive decline, or a diagnosis of dementia, support a loss of independence, lower quality of life and difficulty completing activities of self-care? Does caring for an individual with dementia result in physical decline?
Recent studies indicate that poor cognitive impairment results in physical decline. Is it possible to maintain physical strength in light of a diagnosis of cognitive impairment more commonly identified as dementia? What might caregivers of individuals diagnosed with cognitive impairment do to support the ability of a loved one and their own ability to remain physically independent as long as possible?
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