As many as two out of every ten men and women 60 or older have Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). As you age, minor issues with memory retention and thinking skills occur. For some, it’s caused by MCI, a stage between what are normal age-related issues and dementia. Setting up elder care services would be good to do in the early stage.
Signs of MCI include forgetting that you’ve already told someone something, forgetting someone’s name, or being unable to recall words. The signs of MCI are so close to usual age-related issues that they may not be concerning.
MCI Doesn’t Always Lead to Alzheimer’s
It is reported that about 33% of MCI cases do progress to Alzheimer’s within five years. However, MCI can also be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes, memory issues are related to other health issues, such as depression, insomnia, or a vitamin B12 deficiency.
If blood tests show a vitamin B12 deficiency, supplements or injections help restore proper levels. This is one reason why it’s crucial to get diagnosed ASAP. Depression and insomnia can also be treated with diet, exercise, prescription medications, and therapy sessions.
What If It Is Alzheimer’s?
When MCI is diagnosed, your mom will see her doctor twice a year to see if the disease worsens. If it is, the diagnosis may change to Alzheimer’s disease.
What if your mom has MCI and it is progressing? Doctors may recommend medications that help slow the progression of the symptoms of dementia. They can’t stop the disease, but they can improve her quality of life.
It gives your mom time to make legal arrangements, spend quality time with family, and do things she enjoys. She can travel while still possessing the cognitive skills to find her way around a new city or explore a town without getting lost. Go with her and enjoy family vacations.
Take this time to get her home set up for the progression of Alzheimer’s. Add grab bars to the area around the toilet and inside and outside of her shower or bathtub. Examine the lighting in her rooms and make sure the lighting is bright enough to eliminate shadowy areas.
Suppose your mom has pets. Set up plans for what happens to them if your mom’s condition worsens to the point that she cannot take care of them properly. She may need you to hire dog walkers. Someone in the family may need to take the animals in.
Schedule Elder Care Sooner Rather Than Later
Introduce your mom to elder care services at this stage. Allow her to familiarize herself and form a bond with her caregivers, making it easier later on. There will come a time when she doesn’t recognize others.
If you wait to introduce elder care aides, she may refuse to cooperate and lash out. Give her time to become comfortable with her caregivers. Sign up for elder care services today.