It’s Worse Than I Thought

I recently wrote about this article on LinkedIn. It’s about managing cognitive health in retirement but makes no mention of the value of assessing cognition at any stage of the process.

I asked the question as to how we can manage cognitive health when we don’t measure it.  We don’t manage blood pressure by not measuring it.

And I left it at that.

But on reflection, the content is worse than I thought.  I should have also made comment on what the authors did recommend for those concerned about monitoring symptoms or possible signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  They suggested to keep an eye on the following factors:

  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Repetitive questioning
  • Odd or inappropriate behaviors
  • Forgetfulness of recent events
  • Repeated falls or loss of balance
  • Personality changes
  • Decline in planning and organization abilities
  • Changes in diet and eating habits
  • Changes in hygiene
  • Increased apathy
  • Changes in language abilities, including comprehension
If you solely rely on measuring your cognitive health using these factors then with the best will in the world, you could be too far down the track to do much about it.  For most, the horse has not only bolted the stable door but has raced over the hill and far away.

It’s like waiting to have a cardiac arrest to measure your heart health.  It’s a bit too late.

Managing cognitive health needs to include regular cognitive assessments,  helping people track their performance,  picking up on subtle changes and addressing those in good time.