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5 Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

Seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may have issues managing daily tasks, but they can live independently. If you notice your senior loved one taking more time to complete tasks or making more mistakes, you should take him or her to see a doctor for treatment immediately. Take a look at some of the warning signs of MCI for seniors. 

1. Facing Issues with Communication

Concentration is one of the biggest concerns for seniors who are experiencing mild cognitive issues. It is not uncommon for aging adults to begin discussing another topic without finishing their current conversation. Make sure your discussions are easy to follow, and speak clearly and concisely.

Families who need additional assistance caring for an elderly loved one should consider hiring a professional caregiver. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Rhode Island Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

2. Having Difficulty Learning New Things

Although seniors experience issues with various cognitive areas as they age, such as memory and attention, difficulty learning new things is a sign of mild cognitive impairment. Seniors with MCI may not be able to grasp new information, and retaining the information is even more challenging. If this continues, the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s increases. Encourage your loved one to play fun games that trigger memories and allow him or her to use critical thinking skills. Start out with easy games, then work up to more challenging activities. 

3. Asking Repeated Questions

Seniors with MCI may repeat the same questions over and over, regardless of how many times they receive the correct answer. Family caregivers shouldn’t dismiss this warning sign. Take your loved one to see a doctor who can diagnose him or her correctly. In addition to repeated questions, seniors with MCI may begin to share the same stories again and again. To prevent further cognitive decline, caregivers need to use memory aids and focus on the emotion, not the behavior. 

4. Finding It Challenging to Stay Organized 

If your loved one used to clean up around the home, pay bills, and perform other daily tasks independently, you should be alarmed if he or she stops doing these things. Although it could be due to lack of energy and motivation, the most logical cause is cognitive impairment. MCI makes it difficult for seniors to stay organized, and as a result they become irritated and withdraw from activities. When this happens, you should encourage your loved one to continue doing as much as he or she can independently, but step in when you see things becoming too difficult.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Rhode Island seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

5. Feeling Overwhelmed

When it is time to make a decision, seniors with MCI often feel overwhelmed, regardless of how simple the decision may be. This type of stress can cause cognitive impairment to progress. You can prevent further cognitive decline by encouraging your loved one to meditate, do yoga, or participate in other activities that make him or her feel more relaxed and less anxious. Make some decisions for your loved one, but include him or her in the process somehow. For example, if you are prepping your loved one’s meals, you can choose the foods, but allow him or her to assist you in the kitchen.

Seniors with mild cognitive impairment may need assistance with daily tasks. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Rhode Island seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. If you need a break from your caregiving duties, call us at (401) 284-0979 today.