Most seniors experience a few changes in their cognitive abilities, but these are usually minor and not cause for alarm. If your elderly loved one has been forgetting important details more frequently or is having trouble making decisions on a regular basis, you may want to get him or her tested for mild cognitive impairment. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care in Perth, WA, explains a few important details about this condition.

What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Cognitive decline is a perfectly natural part of aging, but some seniors experience more severe problems with their memory, judgment, and reasoning. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is often the intermediate stage between normal cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related disorder. A senior will only be diagnosed with MCI after tests are carried out and a specialist confirms the results.

How Is MCI Diagnosed?

Most seniors are tested for MCI after their doctors, Perth in-home caregivers, or loved ones notice a distinct change in their cognitive abilities. These changes may include forgetfulness, trouble holding a conversation, irritability, depression, and difficulty making decisions. There is no single test used to diagnose mild cognitive impairment. Doctors will generally put a senior through a series of tests that assess mood, balance, senses, and thinking skills. If these tests are inconclusive, the doctor might suggest blood tests and imaging of the brain.

What Are the Risk Factors for MCI?

Experts are not exactly sure what causes MCI, but they do know this disorder is very closely related to dementia and Alzheimer’s. In fact, these conditions have almost identical risk factors, including age and genetics. Seniors who have diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol also have an increased risk of MCI.

What Are the Treatment Options for MCI?

There is currently no cure for MCI, but this does not mean the disorder always results in dementia. Seniors can slow the rate of cognitive decline by making healthy lifestyle choices. After an MCI diagnosis, family members should encourage their elderly loved ones to maintain healthy eating habits and exercise as much as possible. Social interaction and stimulating activities, such as board games, reading, puzzles, computer games, drawing, and cooking, can also help sustain brain function.

Help keep your loved one’s mind active by encouraging him or her to engage in brain-boosting activities. If your loved one needs more mental stimulation in his or her daily life, reach out to Perth Home Care Assistance. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method is designed to help slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia through the use of mentally stimulating activities. In addition to the dementia and Alzheimer’s home care Perth seniors and their families trust, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s and post-stroke care. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, call [hca_phone] today.