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I think MCI is a very general term (sort of like "dementia") and it covers a variety of deficits, as my and Blannie's very different experiences illustrate.

The similarity seems to lie in the big deficit being "executive functioning" which is a cognitive science term that covers sequencing, prioritizing, recall and similar skills that allow folks to know what to do when, and determine how important things are.
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It sounds like Independent Living has been good for your mom. I'm happy to hear they initiated appointments with a gerontologist and geriatric psychiatrist. That's a very proactive approach. It sounds like your mom is in the right place and on the right meds which will hopefully make a world of difference in her life.
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My mom wasn't formally diagnosed with MCI but she definitely had it. In her case, it manifested in having no short-term memory. And one the one hand, she knew that, but on the other hand, she'd say, "Oh I'll remember that (like an upcoming TV show) and she wouldn't. She just couldn't keep it fixed in her mind. So in that way, she'd forget that she couldn't remember. Or say I hadn't told her things when I had. Or forget that we'd done things that we did (like visit the doctor). It can be crazy-making for you, the caregiver, at times. It's like our loved ones live in an alternate universe.

She also lost her initiative. She'd say she was going to do x-y-z but never did. "I'm going to write so-and-so." "I'll clean that up as soon as I'm off the phone." "I'll take a shower after breakfast." None of that would happen. Once I watched Teepa Snow videos on Youtube about dementia, I understood. She fully meant to do those things, her brain just wouldn't get her from Point A to Point B. It could still be frustrating for me. I learned that I had to stay until whatever it was she was wanting to do was done, because left to her own devices, it wouldn't be done. And then she'd forget she'd done it. So I had her writing things on her calendar, to help her remember. "Sent birthday card to X."

My mom was never on meds for her mood and she didn't have anxiety or depression. She was always very even-keeled. But she would cry from time to time, which was unusual for her. But then 30 minutes later, she'd forgotten that she was crying over something.
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At the age of 87, my mother suddenly gave up driving (she had only driven locally for years) and handed her finances over to my sister in law. And she became very very very anxious about every little thing. She was on a low dose of Xanax "as needed" but it didn't seem to be helping. When her "emergencies" started happening every day, requiring me to leave work and rush to her rescue, in bad weather, only to find nothing really wrong, we arranged to move her to a nice Independent Living facility "for the stormy months" (a useful therapeutic fib).

Once there, she started to be seen by both a geriatrician and a geriatric psychiatrist who were based at the facility. The psych doc put my mom on a low dose of klonopin, to be taken regularly, which helped "get ahead" of the anxiety and also insisited on having her worked up for cognitive decline. Most of the family was against this, since mom was "sharp as a tack" (except she was a crying, shivering mess most of the time). We went for the evaluation under the guise of "getting a baseline measurement".

When my mom was going to the neuropsychologist for the followup visit after her full cognitive work up she said "If they tell me I'm crazy, I'm not going to agree".

They diagnosed MCI, and the imaging that they had done found that my mother had had a stroke at some time in the past. I think the last finding reassured my mom that there was a reason for her loss of executive functioning; the findings were also helpful in convincing my brother that all of mom's anxieties and crying jags weren't "something she's doing to herself".

Eventually, mom was also started on antidepressents (in addition to the antianxiety meds) and her symptoms were able to be managed with medications quite well.
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