As humans age, they often experience minor cognitive decline that differs from the symptoms of dementia. When cognitive problems are more than a minor issue but aren’t yet serious enough to warrant a dementia diagnosis, medical professionals often term the condition mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Learning more about the condition can allow you to better assist your senior loved one.
1. Most Seniors with MCI Are Still Able to Live Normal, Independent LivesIf your loved one has been diagnosed with MCI, he or she will most likely not feel as mentally sharp as he or she used to. Close family and friends will notice as well. The symptoms of MCI are varied and include:
- Forgetting important dates, events, or where things are located
- Losing a train of thought while reading a book, watching a movie, or having a conversation
- Feeling overwhelmed when having to make a decision
- Showing poor judgement
- Experiencing difficulty when navigating familiar situations
2. Mild Cognitive Impairment Is Associated with Other Mental Health ConditionsMild cognitive impairment is often diagnosed in seniors with bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety as well as aging adults who exhibit aggression, irritability, and/or apathy toward others. Medical professionals aren’t sure if MCI increases the risk of developing other mental health conditions or if the opposite is true.
3. The Condition Is Linked to Lifestyle Factors & Medical ConditionsCertain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can increase your loved one’s risk of being diagnosed with MCI. These include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Low level of education
- Lack of mentally stimulating activities