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Overview of Memory and Cognition Changes with Aging

presented by Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Rob Winningham has a financial relationship with Scientific Advisor for Linked Senior, Speaker/Teacher for Activity Connection, Speaker and content developer for Masterpiece Living, and Partner with Northwest Rehab & Wellness who products and services are mentioned in this course. Rob Winningham receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Rob Winningham has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Memory ability is determined by a multitude of factors, many of which are under our control. There are a number of problems that need to be addressed, including what factors can be manipulated, which interventions will be effective and for whom, all in an effort to maximize cognitive ability and therapeutic outcomes for all clients. We will discuss the Reserve Hypothesis, explanations as to why people who are more cognitively engaged have better cognitive ability, and whether we can intervene and help people improve their cognitive abilities. Dosing and prognoses, as a function of the severity of cognitive impairment, will also be addressed. This course is the first of a five-part series.

Meet Your Instructor

Rob Winningham, Ph.D.

Dr. Rob Winningham has 25 years of experience researching human memory and has largely focused on older adults and ways to enhance their mental functioning and quality of life. He creates brain stimulation activities for over 10,000 retirement communities and rehabilitation facilities as a part of Dr. Rob's Cranium Crunches on activityconnection.com and helps create…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Factors Affecting Cognitive Abilities in Older Adulthood

Recent research has shown us that many factors affect our cognitive abilities and chance of developing dementia in older adulthood. It is important to understand these factors and possible causal mechanisms in order to develop interventions, suggest lifestyle changes, and consider the etiology of cognitive impairment.

2. Reserve Hypothesis: A Possible Explanation for Use It Or Lose It Findings

Most people have heard of the Use It Or Lose It Theory, but that idea is rarely discussed in the scientific literature. In this chapter, we will discuss a compatible idea known as the Reserve Hypothesis. The Reserve Hypothesis is a superior idea because it provides an explanation for data supporting Use It Or Lose It. These are important concepts as they help provide a foundation to understand the basis of cognitive rehabilitation and the etiology and course of most types of cognitive impairment.

3. Dementia Prevalence vs. Incidence

Recent research has shown that while the incidence of dementia is increasing in Western Europe and North America, the prevalence is actually plummeting. Appreciating these ideas and their causes leads to a much more nuanced understanding of the underlying causes of dementia and interventions that could decrease symptoms of cognitive impairment.

4. The Importance of Executive Functioning in Cognitive Rehabilitation Estimated Length

An understanding of how executive functioning affects cognitive abilities and mobility. Controlling unwanted behaviors is critical, especially for people who work with cognitively impaired individuals. We will discuss executive functioning so therapists and other professionals can maximize the efficacy of therapeutic outcomes.

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