MCI: Understanding Mild Cognitive Impairment

Jun 27, 18 MCI: Understanding Mild Cognitive Impairment

Memory-related conditions come in all shapes and sizes, from simply getting “a little forgetful” to early onset Alzheimer’s disease, and everything in between. Many conditions are lumped together under an umbrella term, called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. What does it mean if your loved one has been diagnosed with this?

The Changes to Memory and Cognition

One of the first things to understand is what this type of diagnosis means regarding changes within your loved one. Generally, mild cognitive impairment means that changes are noticeable, both to you and to your loved one. However, those changes are unlikely to be serious enough that they impact your loved one’s quality of life. They will not reduce your loved one’s ability to live independently, and they will not cause problems with daily living activities.

The Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment

As a loved one and potential caregiver of someone suffering from MCI, it’s important to understand some of the more common symptoms. However, note that every patient is unique, and the symptoms described below may or may not affect your loved one.

  • Your loved one may begin to forget important information, like doctors’ appointments, or recent events.
  • Your loved one may begin to forget conversations they’ve had, even recently.
  • Your loved one may begin to struggle to make decisions.
  • Your loved one may forget the steps needed to complete tasks.

The Prognosis

It’s important to understand that a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment does not necessarily mean that your loved one will need in-home care, or require an NJ assisted living facility. In some instances, the symptoms go away on their own in the course of time. In other situations, the individual never progresses beyond a state of mild impairment. However, in some cases, particularly those where an individual tends to forget things, the condition can be an indicator that Alzheimer’s will develop at some point in the future.

Can It Be Treated?

Many people are surprised to learn that there are many treatments that have shown benefits in treating mild cognitive impairment. For instance, memory-enhanced activities can stimulate the brain’s memory centers. Increasing social engagement can also help improve cognition. Physical exercise has even been shown to have a positive impact on the condition of patients with MCI.

At The Regency Memory Care Club, we offer a range of solutions in NJ to help treat individuals struggling with mild cognitive impairment.