Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) makes routine tasks such as cooking meals and paying bills extremely difficult. It is also a major risk factor for dementia, which is why you need to carefully track any changes to your senior loved one’s cognitive health and emotional stability. Here are five of the most common symptoms of MCI and a few tips that can be used to boost overall brain function.
1. Having Difficulty Finishing Sentences and Stories
Older adults who have MCI often find it nearly impossible to finish longer stories or remember certain words while they are speaking. Caregivers who notice these issues should schedule an appointment with a language specialist to rule out any other impediments. Those specialists might suggest exercises such as learning a new language or reading aloud for a few hours every week.
If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, now is the best time to plan for long-term care at home. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same home care services. Colorado Springs families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
2. Experiencing Distinct Changes to Personality
Sudden personality changes should never be ignored or taken lightly. Even if these changes aren’t caused by MCI, your loved one might be living with an emotional disorder. One way to help your loved one control his or her emotions is to encourage socialization. Signing your loved one up for adult classes will give him or her a chance to engage with the outside world and stay socially active.
For families living in Colorado Springs, CO, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
3. Getting Lost Regularly
Another common sign of MCI is regularly getting lost in familiar areas. For example, calling for directions to a favorite restaurant or store. If this becomes a regular occurrence, you need to contact a neurologist to explore treatment options. In some cases, simple lifestyle changes such as healthier dietary and exercise habits is enough to gradually slow the rate of cognitive decline.
4. Feeling Overwhelmed When Making Decisions
During the initial stages of MCI, many seniors start feeling agitated whenever they are asked anything more than a basic question. There is currently no cure for this symptom, but you can reduce your loved one’s anxiety by making his or her choices easier. Instead of asking what you loved one wants for dinner, you can provide just one or two options. You should also keep track of any triggers that make your loved one feel overwhelmed, like loud noises or multiple people talking at the same time.
5. Engaging in Impulsive Behavior
Impulsive behavior is a common symptom of mild cognitive decline and certain forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s. Many drugs can be used to regulate impulsive thoughts and actions. Your loved one’s doctor might also suggest working with a therapist or counselor who has experience helping older adults with MCI.
Caring for a loved one with mild cognitive impairment can be challenging. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Colorado Springs home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (719) 822-1229.