If your aging parent is forgetting booked appointments, talks with you for minutes then forget about the topic of discussion, can’t recall what he/she had in breakfast, or forgets your decades-old best friend’s name, do not freak out assuming that your parent has dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s very much likely that your parent has mild cognitive impairment.
Memory slips are quite common in old age but mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is above and beyond that. This condition affects an individual’s ability to remember things more than normal, but it doesn’t necessarily bring about a lot of change in the functioning of the individual. You’ll find this quite comforting to know that having MCI doesn’t put your parents on the path of developing dementia. However, MCI does increase the chances of experiencing more serious cognitive disorders.
If your loved one is diagnosed with MCI, you need not become sad as there are many things that your loved one can do to better their cognitive function and quality of life. Below are some ways to achieve that.
• Apart from old age, other causes of cognitive decline include sleep deprivation, hearing impairment, changes in eyesight, and many other health conditions. If proper care is given to these problems, the lost cognitive ability can often return. Make sure to have regular medical examinations of his/her hearing and eyesight state
• Encourage your parents learn something new. By learning new things, our brain is forced to function in a new way as it initiates the process of making new pathways to locate information
• Increase his/her social activity; encourage your parents join a club such as a book club, make other members of the family spend as much time with him/her as possible. There are caregivers for disabled senior citizens that do a wonderful job of providing companionship along with taking care of seniors’ daily needs. You can hire such a caregiver for your parent
• Teach your parent the habit of placing things such as glasses, keys, wallet, etc. in the same place every time, daily
• Have him/her use latest technology or things such as calendars, notes as memory tools to help them recall tasks and activities
• Change his/her eating habits by including more plant food in their diet. Along with diet, make sure he/she also properly follows an aerobic exercise routine. Exercise provides social and mental stimulation along with bettering blood flow to the brain