5 Essential Facts about Mild Cognitive Impairment in Aging Adults

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Important Facts about Mild Cognitive Impairment in Aging Adults in Des Moines, IA

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 Lives

If 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
The good news is that although these symptoms will be noticeable, they shouldn’t be severe enough to interfere with your loved one’s everyday life. He or she can take steps to live an independent life, such as setting alarms and appointment reminders. Families who need additional assistance caring for their elderly loved ones should consider hiring professional caregivers. 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 home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

2. Mild Cognitive Impairment Is Associated with Other Mental Health Conditions

Mild 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 Conditions

Certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can increase your loved one’s risk of being diagnosed with MCI. These include:
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Low level of education
  • Lack of mentally stimulating activities
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services Des Moines, IA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

4. It Could Later Lead to a Dementia Diagnosis

According to the American Academy of Neurology, more than six percent of seniors over the age of 60 have MCI. By the age of 85, this number climbs to 37 percent. An estimated 10 to 15 percent of seniors who have MCI develop dementia each year. 

5. Steps Can Be Taken to Slow Its Progression

Developing MCI doesn’t necessarily mean dementia will occur. If your loved one has MCI, encourage him or her to take steps now to slow the progression of cognitive decline to prevent dementia. A 2015 trial, The Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability, found that seniors who ate a healthy diet, socialized with others, and exercised regularly reduced their cognitive decline. Taking up a new hobby, stimulating the brain by learning a new language, reading difficult books, and/or doing puzzles may also help.  Seniors with mild cognitive impairment may need assistance with daily tasks. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Des Moines live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (515) 264-2438 to schedule a free consultation.


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