As I wrote about yesterday, when there is dissipation in the brain and nervous system due to aging, the entire human body is affected in one way or another because the brain and nervous system combination is our body’s operations system; the core of our being. When these begin to break down, we change away from the vibrant, healthy individuals we once were and into a person that has slower thoughts, vague memories and has difficulty getting their thoughts to align.
For the most part, these changes are normal and can affect everyone – but to what extent is the question. It all depends on the extent of change in the nerves and brain tissue; each individual is different in this respect. Some people have major changes, while others have few or more subtle changes, although the changes may not always relate to the effects on an individual’s ability to think.
Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia are NOT normal parts of aging. Neither is delirium. The latter is typically sudden and causes severe confusion that can lead to changes in a person’s thinking as well as their behavior. Delirium is oftentimes due to illness, although typically illness not related to the brain.
Some infections can cause older people to become quite confused. Even medications sometimes cause confusion.
Going back to the section I wrote about diabetes, you may recall that thinking and behavior issues can stem from poorly controlled diabetes. As a person’s blood sugar soars and dips, their thought patterns can vary as well!
It is extremely important to notate changes in your client’s memory and discuss them with health care providers and family. It is especially important to be in direct contact with your client’s physician if their symptoms attack suddenly or occur tandem with other symptoms. Too many changes not dealt with can affect your client’s lifestyle thus you would not be proving that With Age Comes Respect because you would have negated your duties by not following through closely enough!