How to Work With Mild Cognitive Impairment

What is mild cognitive impairment?

MCI (mild cognitive impairment) can happen to everyone. Sometimes MCI is known as “senior moments” because we don’t process things as quickly as we did when we were younger. While some people will develop significant memory loss and unfortunately, will be unable to live safely on their own. These people have developed conditions that bring on full-blown dementia such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Then there are those that can still function with some memory loss and live independently. These are the people who have developed MCI and these signs include greater than usual difficulty with remembering recent events, a scheduled appointment, or following a thread of conversation or movie plot, making decisions, following instructions, etc. Half of people who become diagnosed with MCI will go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia on average within five years. The rest tend to stay at this mild level of memory loss, with a small number making improvements over time!

If you do believe that your loved one has MCI, it is important to schedule an appointment for a medical exam as soon as possible. Sometimes the symptoms of MCI can actually be a side effect of a particular medication or even sleep apnea or alcohol abuse and it’s good to discern the problem quickly. Be sure to follow up every since months to track the changes.

If your relative actually does have MCI, there is no concrete treatment as of yet. However, there are ways to prolong better brain function such as increasing social and mental activity, as well as maintaining good physical fitness. Brain health relies on all of these so passive activities such as watching television isn’t very helpful.

If you don’t have the time to do this sort of supervision, call on your local home care agency to find a professional caregiver | private home nurse care | geriatric care manager.

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