Healthy and Abnormal Aging

What Is It?

 

Elderly people face not only physical decline but cognitive.  As people get older, physical complications arise as do cognitive. In healthy aging populations, the declines are slight and can be improved with regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, community engagement and by doing cognitively demanding tasks.

 

In people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the nervous system deteriorates as plaques become more present within the neural tissue. These populations are particularly sensitive, as their physical and cognitive functions are dramatically impacted. Patients with these disorders forget who their loved ones are, where they live, and whether they have completed an activity such as taking medication.

What Can Be Done?

 

Engaging elders with empathy, open-mindedness, and a smile can help foster positive interactions and emotions. In addition, ensuring proper nutrition and physical exercise can prevent and delay signs of cognitive aging.

 

Cognitive remediation can assist healthy aging and dementia populations improve cognitive function in everyday life. Areas elderly and dementia patients have difficulty with include memory, attention, language, visuo-spatial skills, and executive functions.

 

Therapy for dementia and related disorders include medications, occupational therapy, psychotherapy, environmental modifications, and living assistance.

How Can HappyNeuron Pro Help?

 

HappyNeuron Pro can be used to provide cognitive stimulation to aging populations. For both healthy and abnormal aging, therapists providing cognitive remediation therapy can choose from an array of exercises that target key cognitive domains such as memory, executive function, auditory processing, visuo-spatial skills, language and computational skills. HappyNeuron Pro can be used on a device that has internet connection. We suggest using a touchscreen device, as elderly people may be afraid when using a standard desktop computer.

 

Some exercises you can use when working with aging populations include:

Restaurant

 

In this exercise, clients are presented with food orders of customers seated at table. The goal is to correctly match each order with each customer. Therapists can adapt the number of orders given as well as arrangement of people at the table for more of a challenge.

Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Restaurant
Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Basketball in NY

Basketball in New York

 

Requires patient to engage in strategy and problem solving to plan actions that lead to successful completion. Also trains visuo-mental skills.

An American in Paris

 

While looking at some of Paris’s (and other cities) most appealing attractions, client’s will have to remember itineraries of travelers visiting some of the world’s most coveted travel destinations.

Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise An American in Paris
Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Writing in the Stars

Writing in the Stars

 

Trains logical reasoning for skills needed for keeping track of appointments and engaging in group activities.

Elephant Memory

 

Clients will be presented with a list of words and have to recall which words they have seen previously.

Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Elephant Memory
Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Two Timing

Two-Timing

 

This exercise trains a person’s ability to share attention between two different types of stimuli: auditory and visual.

How Do We Fit Into Your Care Plan For Your Elderly Clients?

 

As people age, the ability live independently can be lost. This is the case with people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Some people reside in specialized care facilities or a senior living community. Therapy can be done in a patient’s home, within a care facility, or in a medical professional’s office. Care teams for elders include different kinds of therapists as physical, mental, and cognitive well-being gradually deteriorate with normal aging but can deteriorate faster with age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

 

HappyNeuron Pro can be used wherever you are conducting therapy with your patient. Because we are an internet based service,  all you need to access HappyNeuron Pro is an internet connection and appropriate device such as a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. For group therapy sessions, you can connect an HDMI cord from a computer to a television screen. For groups, Split Words, Sleight of Hands, and Shapes and Colors can be great icebreakers to encourage laughter and foster participation from individuals.

 

If you are assigning homework for your patient to do outside the clinic, ensure that they have access to internet and a device or an alternative strategy to access the software on their own time. Many facilities do have computer labs, but local libraries as well as community centers can provide these resources if your patient is able to travel to them. In addition, they can perform exercises from a friend or family member’s home.

 

To see how we can be integrated into your practice and assist your clinicians providing care to aging populations, take time to complete our 15 Day Free Trial. You are able to access all of our digital content, as well as our free resources for additional material to use during your therapy sessions with your clients. If you are a researcher, please contact us about using our software for your research study.

Page last updated on Jan 10,2020

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