The early stages of dementia are often hard to differentiate from age-related memory loss and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI is sometimes referred to as early Alzheimer’s disease, though it does not always lead to this disorder. In fact, only 50 percent of those with MCI will eventually develop dementia within 5 years. Some with MCI even find their way back to their previous mental capacities. An estimated 5.3 million Americans age 65 and over have Alzheimer’s dementia.
Symptoms of MCI and Early Dementia
It is very difficult to tell these two diseases apart, particularly in the early stages. If you notice any of the symptoms increasing in regularity, make an appointment with their primary health care provider who can make a definitive diagnosis. One differential diagnosis is that those with MCI can still perform the daily activities of daily living such as preparing meals, light housekeeping, shopping, taking care of their daily hygiene and carrying on socially, while those with dementia will eventually have difficulties in some or all of these areas.
The signs of early dementia include:
- Difficulty remembering the correct amount and when to take medications.
- Additional tasks of daily living may prove to be increasingly difficult.
- Subtle short-term memory loss such as forgetting where they put an item.
- Increasing anxiety or apathy.
- Increasing difficulty carrying on a conversation due to inability to recall specific words and retain the topic of conversation.
- Confusion including where they are in space and time.
- Repetition in daily tasks and questions.
Other diseases or lifestyle choices that may have similar symptoms include certain medications, alcohol abuse, strokes, depression and nutritional deficiencies.
It can be difficult to watch changes in your loved one as they age. This disease, in particular, can be very trying to those who care for the ones affected. Try to remain positive and remember that it can be slow in its progression. Keep them engaged with social and physical activities including brain challenging puzzles that are not too difficult. It is important for them to remain as independent and active as possible.
It is also important for you to take time every week to recharge, refresh and do the things you love.
To that end, consider obtaining the services of a home care provider. They can assist your parent where needed and be there for them in the days and years ahead as the disease progresses. They provide companionship, camaraderie, assistance with the daily activities of living as well as accompanying them on walks and on social outings. Home care providers also provide transportation which your loved one will eventually be in need of. If you are having difficulty adjusting to their disorder, consider joining a support group for the both of you. These groups can provide immense information as well as emotional understanding and long-term friends.
If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Katy, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week