Cognitive changes in the aging brain include decreased capacity in different memory functions. Scientists believe that episodic memory associated with information related to reality is more prone to deterioration in older adults. In contrast, semantic memory capacity, such as abstract memorization of words and concepts, decreases less. This paper aims to present what was learned during Week 3 and Week 4 and discuss how this knowledge may be applied when working with seniors.
Scientists agree that with age, people’s ability to inhibit noise deteriorates, whether it is external stimuli or thoughts that do not relate to the task and make it difficult to concentrate. Then, a decrease in focusing power leads to lower intelligence (Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields, 2018). Equally significant is a reduction in the capacity of encoding information and a decrease in the potential to develop adaptive encoding strategies. At the same time, the aptitude for retrieving information usually remains the same. Besides the memory changes, diseases related to the critical destruction of brain tissue may occur. These are various types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, and Parkinson’s disease.
The information from Week 3 and Week 4 allows understanding the processes that happen with the perception of older people and how these processes affect their personality. It is particularly important when working with patients who have Alzheimer’s disease, one of the symptoms of which is memory loss, since, for most people, memory is the basis for self-identification. Besides, negative stereotypes can affect the emotional state of seniors, which has a direct connection with how efficiently their cognition functions (Boden & Thompson, 2015). That is why it is crucial to create a healthy space where older people could be part of the community (Jopp, Park, Lehrfeld, & Paggi, 2016). Finally, the perception of aging by an individual dramatically affects how this individual ages. Therefore, when working with seniors, it is necessary to avoid negative beliefs.
Thus, the information learned during Week 3 and Week 4 was presented. To summarize it, the most common cognitive changes are changes in memory, in particular in the processes of remembering new information. Different types of dementia are brain diseases that destroy brain tissue, which is responsible for various functions – such as memory or motor functions. An emotional state is associated with cognitive abilities, so creating an affirmative emotional space is critical.
- Boden, M. T., & Thompson, R. J. (2015). Facets of emotional awareness and associations with emotion regulation and depression. Emotion, 15(3), 399-410. Web.
- Cavanaugh, J. C., & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2018). Adult development and aging. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
- Jopp, D. S., Park, M. K. S., Lehrfeld, J., & Paggi, M. E. (2016). Physical, cognitive, social, and mental health in near-centenarians and centenarians living in New York City: Findings from the Fordham Centenarian Study. BMC Geriatrics, 16(1), 1-13. Web.