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Cognitive Abilities

Essay by   •  December 28, 2011  •  Essay  •  458 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,333 Views

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Cognitive ability, to me, is how we deal with the rest of the world, whether intuitively or intelligently, with street smarts or learned behavior. There was a time, in the not so distant past, that society thought our intelligence, our cognitive abilities, declined relatively early in life, but over the past few decades our perspective of this decline has changed through research and study.

It has been thought that many elderly people have dementia when in reality it may be that their sight maybe going or their hearing is diminishing which makes it hard for them to see the person in front of them or hear the instructions that are being given. And to tell you the truth, I wonder sometimes if our minds get so full of wledge and information that we have a hard time recalling information as easily because our brains have to sort through so much to get to that tiny piece of recall that is needed in that moment.

Both my grandfather and my uncle were diagnosed with Alzheimer's, which is a debilitating and very sad disease. They were able to recall information from 40 years in the past, but couldn't remember that they sat down to put their shoes on or who was there to visit with them. In some ways it is easier for people with the disease than it is for their families as they watch their loved forget who they and everyone around them is.

There are tools that can be used to help people remember different things, such as when to take their medication. Tools can be "high" tech (alarm clocks, a flashing light set to go off at certain times) or "low" tech (a piece of paper with the instructions on it), or even, in some cases, a combination of the two. My Mother, in the months before she passed away, when she was still cognitively with us, had an alarm clock set to go off at certain times each day. When that alarm clock went off, she stopped whatever she was doing and went to the kitchen, where she pulled out her "medicine" box where my brother had written down for her what medicine to take at a certain time when the alarm clock would go off. She'd grab her pencil and make notes to say that she did take the prescribed dosage. For her that worked wonderfully, until she couldn't read anymore due to her eyesight failing. At which time, one of my siblings or I were around to make sure things were done correctly. She was never diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but I have wondered due to both her Father and Brother were, and she seemed to have some of the same characteristics that they did.



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