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Signs of Mild Cognitive Impairment & How to Recognize Them

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can be a difficult condition to diagnose and treat. Most experts agree MCI falls somewhere between normal age-related memory loss and severe disorders such as Alzheimer’s. The intermediate stage of cognitive decline is very elusive, which is why caregivers need to keep an eye out for some of the most common warning signs. When MCI is caught early, neurologists can often delay some of the worst symptoms for many years. Here are a few signs of MCI caregivers should watch out for.

Engaging in Impulsive Behavior

Unless your loved one has a history of erratic behavior, impulsivity is a clear sign he or she needs help from a specialist. Engaging in compulsive behavior is closely associated with many dementia-related disorders, and your loved one’s actions might escalate if you don’t address these issues immediately. One of the best ways to help your loved one manage erratic behavior is to create a static daily routine for him or her. When a senior has MCI, activities that are too stimulating could trigger erratic actions.

Mild cognitive impairment is one of the many health conditions that can make it difficult for seniors to manage everyday activities. 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, an Anchorage home care company 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.

Having Difficulty Following Conversations

Your loved one should be able to follow most conversations as long as he or she is familiar with the subject matter. In the earliest stages of MCI, you might notice your loved one loses focus or becomes disinterested when the conversation moves along too quickly. One of the best ways to minimize this symptom is to challenge your loved one’s cognitive abilities as often as possible with card and board games, puzzles, music, and interesting conversations.

Feeling Overwhelmed in Everyday Situations

Anxiety and acute panic attacks have both been linked to mild cognitive impairment. Seniors who have a tendency to feel overwhelmed often become distressed when there are too many people in their home or they receive a piece of mail they weren’t expecting. A doctor might suggest certain medications to balance your loved one’s emotions and reduce his or her anxiety. You can also try to keep your loved one socially engaged by visiting and calling as often as possible.

For families living in Anchorage, Alaska, 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.

Forgetting Events and Appointments

Another common symptom you need to watch out for is general forgetfulness. As MCI progresses, many people completely forget about important events and dates such as birthdays and anniversaries. After making lunch or dinner plans with your loved one, he or she might completely forget to show up. Forgetting events and appointments can be frustrating, but you can come up with methods to help your loved one keep track of his or her obligations, like writing down notes.

Getting Lost in Familiar Places

Difficulty following directions and getting lost in familiar places are two of the most overwhelming symptoms of MCI. As soon as you notice either of these warning signs in your loved one, you should immediately contact his or her doctor for a full checkup. Seniors who have MCI shouldn’t be driving, and you will need to help your loved one run errands and take care of other tasks outside of the home. Many senior centers offer shuttle services specifically for older adults who have MCI and other similar disorders, and you can also hire a professional caregiver to assist with transportation.

Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Anchorage live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. If you need a professional caregiver for your aging loved one, call us at (907) 770-0907 today.