Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, is a type of cognitive decline that is related to dementia, but still a bit different. Your elderly family member might deal with mild cognitive impairment for quite a while before she feels comfortable enough mentioning what she’s experiencing. Often you, other family members and elderly care aides might notice what’s happening first and ask her what is going on from her perspective.
Mild Cognitive Impairment Is Different from Dementia
Mild cognitive impairment is sometimes a precursor to dementia or to Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s not definitive that your senior will experience one of those conditions. Sometimes MCI is a result of a treatable condition. With MCI, your elderly family member isn’t going to experience the personality changes that are common with dementia. Your senior may still have difficulty with her memory and trouble with other tasks, like making decisions.
Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment
Some of the main symptoms of MCI are that your elderly family member is forgetting things more often, like appointments or social events, even if they’re important. You might notice that she loses her train of thought more often than in the past or it’s difficult for her to follow the plot of a movie or TV show. Decision-making might become difficult, and she might feel uncomfortable knowing that she’s having more trouble than usual.
It’s Important for Your Elderly Loved One to Talk to Her Doctor
If your elderly family member is experiencing memory issues, it’s important that she talks to her doctor right away. With examinations and testing, your senior’s doctor can determine if she’s dealing with mild cognitive decline or if she’s dealing with something a little more serious. Regardless of what the results are, knowing what’s going on as early as possible only helps her.
It’s Also Important to Prioritize Her Health with the Help of Elderly Care Providers
Even with MCI, your senior needs to prioritize her health. Eating healthy meals, exercising to her abilities, and keeping big health issues under control can all help her to remain as healthy as possible. Finding ways to stimulate her brain on a regular basis, like with games and puzzles, can help. It also helps to use memory tools, like notepads and reminders, to help avoid missing anything important.
Another tool that your senior might find helpful is to bring in elderly care providers. Elderly care providers can help your senior with activities of daily living, with household tasks, and help her to remember important details. They’re also excellent companions, which is helpful in other ways.