Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) complain about a symptom commonly referred to as “brain fog” or “cog fog.” It is a symptom that causes forgetfulness and an inability to concentrate. About half of people diagnosed with MS struggle with brain fog. Signs that your aging relative with MS is experiencing brain fog include frequently losing items, walking into a room and forgetting why, and difficulty remembering names.
Brain fog is believed to be a result of the damage MS does to the central nervous system, which is comprised of the spinal cord and brain. MS causes inflammation as well as lesions on the brain. These affect how the brain works.
Although brain fog is difficult to live with, there are ways for your aging relative to live with it more easily. Below are some tips for dealing with brain fog.
Eat More Healthy Fats
Healthy fats may be effective in protecting the brain, which could reduce brain fog. Some sources of healthy fat are:
- Seafood, including mackerel, cod, sardines, and salmon.
- Chia seeds.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Flax seeds.
An elder care provider can prepare meals and snacks that contain healthy fats, like a sandwich with avocadoes on it or a dinner of baked cod.
Encourage your older family member to write things down that they might forget. For example, they should keep a calendar listing appointments in a prominent place. They might also carry a small notebook with them to write down the names of new people they’ve met or appointments to be recorded on the calendar later.
Some seniors might have trouble writing things down because of arthritic fingers or poor eyesight. An elder care provider can assist them by writing information down for them.
Challenge the Brain
Doing things that keep the brain engaged can help to keep it sharper, too. Older adults might do the daily crossword puzzle every morning or work on jigsaw puzzles. Playing board games, learning new skills, and attending classes or seminars can also help.
Elder care can offer transportation to classes and seminars. In addition, an elder care provider can play games with your aging relative or help them to do word, number, or jigsaw puzzles.
Do One Thing at a Time
Although there’s a lot of emphasis on multi-tasking these days, older adults with MS will probably do better if they focus on just one task at a time. It may also help to keep the room quiet, so they can focus. So, for example, if the older adult is trying to balance their checkbook, turn off the television or radio and avoid talking to them while they do so.
An elder care provider can take on some of the extra tasks, like cooking or cleaning, so that your aging relative needs to accomplish less in a day and can focus on just one thing at a time.
If you are considering elder care in Litchfield Park, AZ, for an aging loved one, contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care. Call today (623) 748-3301.