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Report: Understanding and Embracing Cognitive Aging
Cognitive aging is a natural process associated with advancing years and the Institute of Medicine recently released a report assessing the public health dimensions on the issueLink Icon emphasizing definition, epidemiology, prevention and intervention, health professional education and public awareness and education.
The report includes an Action Guide for Health Care Providers, which includes key messages for residents about cognitive aging such as:
The brain ages just like other parts of the body. Cognition describes mental functions including memory, decision making, processing speed and learning.
Cognitive aging is not a disease. It’s a natural, lifelong process. It is not the same as Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.
It is different for every individual. Some people experience few effects while others may need help with daily tasks like paying bills, driving and following recipes.
Some cognitive functions improve with age such as wisdom and knowledge and older adults report greater levels of happiness and satisfaction than their younger counterparts.
There are steps to take to protect cognitive health and adapt to age-related changes in cognitive function.
To access the full report, including online resources related to safe medicine use in older adults, elder financial abuse, older adult driving and an action guide for individuals and families.
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