People with dementia tend to experience cognitive decline. While aging is often associated with memory loss, it is not inevitable. SuperAgers are proving that not all seniors lose cognitive ability as they get older.
What Is a SuperAger?
A SuperAger is any person over the age of 80 with a memory on par with a middle-aged adult. The person’s brain is typically more nimble than his or her aging peers. SuperAgers may have longer attention spans or sharper memories, and they can retain their mental faculties into their 80s and beyond. Seniors who are able to maintain their cognitive health enjoy a higher quality of life than their peers.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Warren senior care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Have Scientists Researched the SuperAger Phenomenon?
Scientists at Northwestern University conducted a study on the impact of aging on SuperAgers. The researchers wanted to know whether SuperAgers had larger than average brains from birth, or whether they simply lost their mental abilities at a slower rate. The study concluded that SuperAgers tend to lose about 1.06 percent of brain volume every year, while other people lose 2.24 percent.
Why Do SuperAgers Retain Their Mental Faculties?
SuperAgers stay sharp due to the size of their brain cortex. While normal aging adults experience thinning cortexes, SuperAgers maintain optimal thickness in the limbic system of the brain. This allows them to retain their mental faculties longer than other people.
What Implications Does This Have for Dementia?
Research on SuperAgers may provide a new way for scientists to think about age-related cognitive decline. SuperAgers have unusually healthy brains for their age, which gives scientists the opportunity to evaluate the biological factors that insulate certain seniors from age-related memory loss. The existence of SuperAgers weakens the assumption that dementia is somehow inevitable. If scientists can isolate the reasons why SuperAgers exist, they may be able to use their findings to prevent dementia in other seniors.
While the research on SuperAgers is underway, seniors with cognitive decline can benefit from professional in-home caregivers. For reliable Alzheimer’s home care, Warren families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s home care needs.
How Can People Become SuperAgers?
Scientists aren’t quite sure why some people become SuperAgers while others don’t. The prevailing theory is that SuperAgers exert their brains more than other people.
Working hard keeps the brain thick, healthy, and highly functional. This type of vigorous mental exercise isn’t necessarily pleasant, and a standard Sudoku puzzle may not be enough to ward off normal aging processes. To become SuperAgers, people should consider a variety of activities that challenge their minds such as studying foreign languages or learning instruments.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Warren seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. If your aging loved one experiences cognitive decline and needs help with daily tasks, call Home Care Assistance at 908.450.9400 today.