When people think of dementia, they often picture someone who requires long-term care, has difficulty remembering names and faces, and is struggling with daily tasks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately six million seniors in the United States living with a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
But there are other forms of dementia, and the milder or early stages of dementia can create their own set of concerns or struggles for those living with the disease and their caregivers.
Most people start their journey with memory loss with less acute symptoms, though ones that still require care and can cause stress for primary caregivers, either with a diagnosis of mild dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment.
They present unique challenges for caregivers, as their loved ones may not fully accept or understand their diagnosis and its implications, and therefore may be reluctant to make necessary changes to their day-to-day lives.
For instance, finances are an area that can pose challenges for those with Mild Cognitive Impairment. Mortgage, utilities, property taxes, cable/internet, insurance, credit cards… every month the bills keep rolling in and it can quickly become a challenge to stay on top of them.
Maybe a bill gets paid twice… or not at all. Maybe they think they put it in the mail, only to find it on the counter a week later.
And unfortunately, there are also unscrupulous people out there who take advantage of vulnerable older adults.
It creates a delicate situation where a family member is placed in a position of being seen as “the bad guy” in suggesting that maybe they as the caregiver should handle finances, leading to pushback and strife with their loved one.
Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment
Mild Cognitive Impairment is when forgetfulness starts affecting someone’s ability to perform basic functions throughout the day.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s “the stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia. It’s characterized by problems with memory, language, thinking or judgment.”
The Mayo Clinic goes on to list the following as common symptoms:
- You forget things more often.
- You forget important events such as appointments or social engagements.
- You lose your train of thought or the thread of conversations, books or movies.
- You feel increasingly overwhelmed by making decisions, planning steps to accomplish a task or understanding instructions.
- You start to have trouble finding your way around familiar environments.
- You become more impulsive or show increasingly poor judgment.
- Your family and friends notice any of these changes.
Should you or a loved one suspect Mild Cognitive Impairment, it’s important to bring it to the attention of a physician so they can begin the process of diagnosis and provide resources and information.
Cognitive Health at Prestige
Here at Prestige Senior Living, cognitive health is a centerpiece of our wellness programs. Our Celebrations program is for those living in independent or assisted living. It includes our Mind Masters cognitive programming, brain games and fitness tailored to the minds as well as the bodies of our residents.
Meanwhile, our award-winning memory care program Expressions helps residents lead an active, fulfilling life as we provide the latest and most advanced forms of support.
For more about how we support those with Mild Cognitive Impairment or other forms of dementia, contact the community nearest you.