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Thanks. Will do so
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Every County in the US has an area agency on aging. Go to your county website. There will be a link to 'senior services" or something like it.
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Thank you Brooklyn Barb. Don't know what that is. But I'll figure it out
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You know, I think in your shoes, I would ring up your local Area Agency on Aging and ask for a needs assessment.

Diagnostic categories are one thing; what the client needs is something else. The AAA should be able to tell you what mom NEEDS. Just make sure you are there when they assess.
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Hi BarbBrooklyn. Yes she is independent. Why I originally asked what the differences are between MCI with amnesiac features and Alzheimer's , is because for as much as she still can do , her memory is really bad. I mean really bad. She asked me at least 8 to 10times todayif my daughter is done with finals and if the hockey game is tonight. She repeats and repeats and repeats. Thanks to this site, I find help and I am so grateful this site exists and for the people who post. The facility I really like has all levels of care. I think it has townhomes for 55 plus people that just want to downsize .
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Most of these places will have you in for a tour and free lunch. You can talk with current residents.

Your mom sounds as though she is still very independent and has good skills. Does the facility in question have an Independent Living part?

For my mom, for a good chunk of time, she simply needed to be in a place that provided meals and the opportunity to go to activities.
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Thank you Countrymouse and BarbBrooklyn. Aprreciare your suggestions. She basically has no friends. We live near many facilities. She has heard me say for the last 20 years that I want to go in to one of the three. It's beautiful, and has many levels of care. I have said that for years because I drive by it every day. So in that regard , she knows that i see my self and my husband moving there. That facility is where her dr is and our dentist. I think it's a great idea for her dr to bring that up . I'm going to call the facility and meet with them. Thank you both
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So, in part, the doctor is a big part of this discussion.
To many aging adults, their "kids" are just that....kids. Don't know anything about anything. (Fortunately, my mother is not like that, but my mother in law was, as are several other relatives). They don't credit their children with being smart, or knowing about the world.

You really need, as others have said here, to see if mom has friends or relatives in various nice facilities, and to get her doctor to talk about the benefits of group living for her mental and physical health.
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See if you can find a facility she likes first, without committing her to agreeing to the move beforehand. So, for example, if there is one that runs a lunch club or day activities or something like that, open to non-residents, she could give that a try. Or you can go together and have lunch and a look-round, and she can have a think about it.

The important thing is to make the story about what's best for her and what she would like, so that it's a positive choice rather than a forced change.

What's available around your area? Does your mother have friends of her own age, maybe even some who are also considering their care plans?
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That's part of the dilemma. I think she would be better off with people her own age. I think all of us identify with people born around the same time as we were. She has long term care insurance. I just don't know how to facilitate that move without her basically thinking I am abanding her
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Erin, when my mom was diagnosed with MCI, the neurologist who ran the tests emphasized to my mom that one of the most important things she needed to do we to say engaged with people, to be social.

He was quite relieved when mom told him that she'd moved to an Independent Living facility and was giving the activities a try after a couple of months of keeping to herself. Have you considered something like a senior center or AL for your mom?
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Thank you countrymouse. She went to the emergency room last year. Had many tests. They were all good. I took her to the ER because she was very warm and almost passed out at a funeral. She wasn't that close to the person that died. She seems fairly content . We have 2 small dogs who she adores. She is active with them . My daughter , 21 , comes home every weekend from college . She s very happy to see her. I'm the one that needs to learn how to cope with the situation. The change in her life that directly affects mine. It sounds selfish. But she is here 24 hours a day. I find this site extremely helpfull. Thank you for your concern and suggestions
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Your poor mother. It does sound as though she misses who she used to be, too. I would be very worried about depression setting in; though it's so hard to know, isn't it? - did she decide to give up work because her mind was letting her down, or is she withdrawing into herself because she's given up a job she loved doing...? Such a chicken-and-egg situation.

If you haven't already, I would do your best to get her checked over physically - heart function and renal function, bloods, thyroid, the usual suspects in the medical Rogues' Gallery - and while you're at it get her mental state assessed. I know it can seem too easy an answer, but anti-depressants do *work*, is the thing. Well worth a try if it gets her out of this awful downward spiral.

Best of luck, anyway, and please do come back and let us know how you're getting on.
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Thank you. I agree with everything you wrote. She did not take th classes. They will probably be offered in the fall. Maybe then. Will definitely encourage different tv shoes Thanks very much
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Erin, What were the doctor's classes like? Did your mother take them?

The Mayo clinic has developed a intensive program for people with MCI, called HABIT. You can read about it here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/clinical-updates/psychiatry-psychology/mci-interventions-aid-patients-and-caregivers

I know someone who went through the HABIT program several years ago. He still uses the tools and techniques he learned there. His MCI symptoms have not increased. In fact, there has been some improvements. When I first met him he could only write in short bursts of words. Now he is back to writing sentences. He still drives.

I don't know what your mother's doctor's classes are like, but I do want to endorse the notion that unlike dementia MCI has some possibility for improvement or at least stability. Would you mother be willing to take the classes?

MCI does not go away. It may or may not progress into dementia, sooner or later. Not much help, huh?

About the television watching: Could you at least encourage a broader variety in the programming? Try something familiar and funny. A DVD of old I Love Lucy episodes, for example. Try something uplifting. Maybe an animal movie if animals appeal to her. Music? Lawrence Welk or even Liberace? Or maybe Joan Baez is more her style. If she is just going to sit there at least encourage a variety of stimulation.

Good luck!
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Just wanted to clarify her test scores were pretty low in most categories. I was surprised that she didn't have Alzheimer's
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Hi Countrymouse. My mother has not reacted much to her diagnosis. The neuropsychologist told her she did not have Alzheimer's. He gave her the results of the tests he administered . She and I read them. They weren't good. He explained that her results showed that she could still learn new information with cues and that is what led to his decision that she had MCI with amnesiac features. He encouraged her to keep driving and to take his classes for people like herself to help them I guess maintain their brain abilities. She worked part time at the time. She quit in October. She worked because she lovedworking. It was a job she enjoyed. She didn't like the drive though. Since October, she s driven maybe 20 times. Where my confusion steps in that now she has no interests in doing anything alone. She sits here all day watching Fox News. I suggested volunteering at the Church , or going out with her sister in law who she really likes. Her response was " I worked all my life , i want to just sit". Or something like that. She does laundry. I bring her food. She doesn't cook which I think is good because of fire pitential. I don't know how long this part MCI lasts. I don't think it goes away. I know it can develop into Alzheimer's . She doesn't want to do anything. Depression? Maybe. She did like to go out up until her mid 60's. I just get overwhelmed because I am an only child and I guess I miss how she used to be and sometimes it's really annoying that she's always here. She is a kind person. It pretty much all falls on me. My husband is great but it's hard. I hope this explains stuff a little more.
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Have you formed any ideas of how you might handle things from here?

It must be very hard for you to see these changes. How has your mother reacted to her diagnosis?
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Hi countrymouse no it did not start out that way. She was fine 20 years ago. She started showing symptoms about 3 years ago. Prior to that she was ok. I get it though and appreciate your comments.
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Um. If I may say so, twenty years is a long time to sit out in the rain isn't it?

Um, this is even harder to ask nicely, but here goes. How does it come about that you are waiting for a time frame to know when you can lead your own life instead of living your mother's life? Is that roughly what's been happening?
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Jennebiggs. Thank you. See no improvement with aricept
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Countrymouse thank you. How I feel about caring for my mother , I can only describe as being in the deep water with no end in sight. If her diagnosis was an end stage life disease, At least I would have some time frame. I would have realistic facts. This is being in a storm not knowing if a tornado is next
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My mother was diagnosed with MCI in her 80s. In a way I suspect that was because the geriatrician knew my mother wouldn't respond well to being told she had dementia. In any event it wasn't long before she clearly had dementia (although no one told her that.)

Her doctor prescribed Aricept. Mom did not take it long because of the side effects. Aricept has been FDA approved only for Alzheimer's. Most doctors routinely prescribe it off-label for MCI and suspected dementia of any kind. It doesn't work well for very many people but there is nothing better on the market for that population and if, by chance, the patient was one of minority it worked for wouldn't that be awesome.

Aricept worked extremely well for my husband who did not have Alzheimer's for which the drug was developed but Lewy Body Dementia. Hubby took it the entire 10 years of his dementia journey. It was discontinued when he went on hospice, but quickly added back -- it was still helping him!

There is certainly a reason that some people do well on Aricept and others do not. The problem is, we don't know that reason! The only way to find out is to try it.

Here is one description of what Aricept does (when it works): "may improve memory, awareness, and the ability to function." Observe closely if that seems to be working for your mother. If you see no improvement after all the months she has been taking it, discuss with her doctor whether she might be one of those people this drug just doesn't work for.

Are you employed, Erin? One advantage of an MIC diagnosis is it allows lots of time to plan ahead. Remember, this may NOT progress into dementia. But you can think ahead just in case and have at least some ideas for her care.

Do it now might be a good motto. If you and your mom always wanted to see the Grand Canyon, do it now. Travel may become more difficult or impossible if her condition progresses.
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Ah.

How are you feeling about life in general, and in particular about continuing to care for your mother at home?

I'm sure the GP was doing the right thing for his patient, but as a layman I'm guessing the specialist would rather have seen your mother before she started the Aricept. Still! - can't be helped; and in any case the impression I have, from memory clinics and similar, is that diagnosing very precisely what is going on tends to be more art than science.

Also - aside from some salient features of particular types of dementia that you really do need to be ready for, and they tend to make themselves known without assistance whether you go looking for them or not - it doesn't make that much difference in terms of care or treatment.

Is anything worrying you that has prompted you to contact the forum today?
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Thank you for your posts. I asked this because my 79 year old mother was diagnosed with MCI with amnesiac features in August 2016. She was seen by a Neuropsychologist who specializes in aging. Prior to seeing him, her GP prescribed aricept. Her memory has been failing for a few years. Her GP gave her a quick test which she did quite poorly on. I think it is called a mini mental status. So after she was prescribed aricept , I made the appointment with the neuropsychologist. She has lived with me for over 20 years. Thanks for replying.
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Good thoughts, CM.

My mother was diagnosed with MCI after she entered Independent Living; she had been living alone at home with some assistance that we had brought in, but she was having panic attacks all the time: weather, burned out light bulb, etc. These all led to hysterical phone calls insisting that we must come and fix something, immediately.

Once she was safely ensconced in a nice IL, she started seeing both an on-site geriatrics doctor and a geriatric psychiatrist. Both insisted that mom be worked up by a team of neurologist/neuropsychologist/psychiatric nurse/brain imaging to determine what was going on.

Family members (and mom) resisted this; mom was "sharp as a tack" and mom said "I'm not crazy". We got the assessments and they showed a huge decline in mom's ability to think and reason. MCI was diagnosed; brain imaging showed a stroke that had previously gone undetected.

The MCI did not appear to progress, but 18 months later, mom had a much bigger stroke which led to vascular dementia.
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Another thing that makes a difference is what sort of assessment led to the diagnosis. If it's the quick shufti that GPs use to see if there's anything to worry about, it doesn't cover a multitude of signs that, in retrospect, one recognises as the beginnings of what later becomes florid dementia. Still worth doing, though, because it can highlight problems that really do warrant closer investigation.

Do you mind if I ask why you ask?

There are dozens of different types of dementia, with Alzheimers and vascular dementia being the commonest and Alzheimers ahead by some lengths. If the person you're asking about has other medical conditions, that can be a useful starting point for distinguishing which sorts of impairment may go on to become a problem.
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MCI is a noticeable, measurable decline in one's ability to think and reason.

With amnesiac features means memory loss is there as well. Sometimes Mci does not progess, but a person with mci is at higher risk for developing dementia.
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As I understand it, mild cognitive impairment, is Mild. It may or may not progress, but if it does it will be dementia.

To me, it is mostly a matter of degree.
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