Essential Facts about Mild Cognitive Impairment in Aging Adults
By Gary Hightower 9 am on
As seniors age, it’s normal for them to experience a few changes in their memory function and thinking skills. However, if the changes in your older loved one’s cognitive abilities are becoming increasingly apparent, he or she may have mild cognitive impairment.
The Prevalence of Mild Cognitive Impairment
About 5 to 20 percent of adults over the age of 65 experience mild problems with memory and thinking. These types of minor issues are known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and they may include becoming easily distracted, having problems recalling recent events, and experiencing difficulty with problem-solving. While these issues are more severe than what you might expect in an otherwise healthy senior, they don’t typically interfere with everyday life, and they’re not considered symptoms of dementia. Maintaining structured routines and using electronic devices, calendars, and other memory aids can help most older adults with MCI compensate for their symptoms.There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional senior care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
The Causes of MCI
Current research suggests MCI develops as a result of milder levels of the same kind of brain damage found in people with dementia, and it can be caused by a number of different factors. Some of these causes can be treated easily, while others are more challenging to treat. When the underlying cause of MCI is addressed, aging adults often experience enhanced cognition.
The Link between MCI & Dementia
Between 10 and 15 percent of aging adults with MCI eventually develop Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Seniors who experience gradual memory loss at first are most likely to have further cognitive decline, including dementia. For these older adults, the cognitive decline indicates the disease process that leads to dementia has already begun. This process isn’t reversible, and the rate of symptom progression varies from person to person. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Irving seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
Reducing the Risk of MCI
The most important step in preventing MCI is treating conditions that affect vascular and neurological health, such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Healthy lifestyle habits, including eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, drinking only in moderation, and not smoking can help seniors maintain their cognitive function. Staying socially active and engaging in brain-challenging activities can also stave off the onset of MCI.There are many ways to keep a senior’s mind healthy, and participating in brain-boosting activities is often a successful strategy. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type ofhome care service. Irvingfamilies can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ 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. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (817) 591-1580 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.