Does my Mom have MCI or not?

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Can someone with MCI still bathe themselves, take care of their ckbook, cook and drive? Maybe she's just aging, even though Dr says she has MCI, I guess I'm wondering if there is a list of behaviors or responses to situations one might exhibit with MCI vs just getting older. Someone told me that the reason they don't remember because they have so many years of experiences and information for the brain to go thru. Any thoughts Pls would be appreciated. Thank you

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MCI frequently can turn into Alzheimer's but it doesn't always. As with anything, there are stages. If your mom has clinically diagnosed MCI it's good to plan and to keep an eye on her but don't go overboard yet. If she can be independent and wants to be she should be. I hope, however, that she's appointed a POA for health and for finances. That needs to be done if it hasn't yet.

There are some who think now that dementia is being over-diagnosed because of the rush to get early treatment. I'm not a medical person nor am I a scientist. However I've wondered about the same things you are wondering about. If someone seems fine but just has slower recall than before, is that really something to "treat"?

Your mom, her doctor and you should work together on this. You also, for peace of mind, may want a second opinion about whether she has MCI or is just aging normally. Encourage her to eat well, take whatever supplements that make sense (and are cleared by her doctor), exercise. She should socialize to her comfort level and do things that keep her mind active. None of that will hurt and some of it may help.

Take care,
Carol
When my mom was first diagnosed with MCI, she was making the transition from living alone to an Independent Living environment. She had realized several months before that she was having difficulties sorting her pills. She had turned over her finances to my sister in law several months before that and was no longer driving outside her small village. But bathing, simple cooking, dressing were all fine. Her main problem at that point was panic, because she seemed to have an inability to choose what actions to take, who to call, and to see that small problems were not insoluble. Anti anxiety meds helped.
ba8alou's description of her mom is my mother to a tee. Should I try to get a medical diagnosis from a doctor - or does it matter since I am watching her and am aware of her mental changes? It would be like pulling teeth to get her to take anti-anxiety meds.
Having extensive neuropsych testing and follow up a year later (which showed no progression) was helpful when mom had a stroke. The dd2 cities were able to tell what was damage from the stroke and what her baseline was. My mom was relieved because THOSE docs were much better able to explain to my mom (as was the geriatric psychiatrist who referred us) as to why mom needed meds. Not just, here, take these powerful, potentially addicting benzodiazepine drugs, they'll make you feel better ( basically what her PvP told her.) It's not you who is supposed to talk your mom into medication. Take her to see a geriatric psych. I'd be in the funny farm if we hadn't done that.
Ferris1, I think she may mean Mild Cognitive Impairment in this case? We just have too many diseases broken down into initials! I am with you though, a full work up is needed, medically, and a referral to a geri psych doctor may help. We had my Mom's primary care doctor order a neuro psych exam....it was covered by Medicare. She then got her diagnosis of probable early Alzheimer's and was referred to a neurologist. Get those experts on board now, rule out anything medical that could be easily 'fixed'....and get the power of attorney and health care directives in place while she can still make those decisions. One doesn't start functioning as a POA until it's necessary. In my case, I make some decisions for Mom, but if she can make them, she makes them. If she can take part in a discussion of options, I make her part of it. The main thing she cannot handle right now is bill paying and she likes that I, as a retired RN, can deal with the medical, but it's still her choice in most cases, what she wants to do since she is capable. I would be sunk right now though, without that POA that my parents put in place long before they needed to!
Countrymouse, I so seldom disagree with you, but this time I do. My mom made it to 86 with what I would characterize as normal aging. She was slowing down, only driving locally, but still exercising and socializing. At 86, several things happened. She had a sudden bout of unexplained high bp (225/110) that landed her in the hospitsl, but no stroke detected. One of her older siblings passed away. She suddenly became terrified at the thought of storms, stopped going out to walk, started answering phone calls from us fretfully, thinking that we had forgotten her, that we were hurt, dead, etc. This was the mother who lectured us frequently about "needless anxiety". It took us a long time to figure this out, but it was a real change in her behavior and personality. Ultimately, with more and more frequent panic attacks, it became clear that mom couldn't be alone. We tried in home care, but that made her more anxious.
I am guessing you are asking about a myocardial infarction, right? Just because one is of a certain older age, does not cause them to have dementia, nor is a certainty one who is aged will get dementia. The brain is beautifully designed to handle as much information as one can put into it, but there are certain events that will stand out - those when the person was excited, in love, or frightened to cause a sort of imprint on the brain cells. Do not listen to people without medical knowledge when it comes to the human body. You will get misinformation and what you thought might be true probably won't be. Medications will cause one to forget, having a low thyroid (hypothyroidism) will cause memory deficits, having a low B-12 count will do it as well. So, my medical advice is to have her checked out thoroughly by a neurologist, have an MRI of her brain, and psychometric testing and lab work to find out for sure what is causing the memory deficits.
Ferris: Although I do not know for sure, but I thought that sudden accute myocardial infarct was a cause of death? What do you know about this condition? Is it not fatal?
Forget dementia, what about life?
p.s. Love your posts.
I agree the OP meant mild cognitive impairment. But for what it's worth:

Myocardial infaction (aka : MI ) is just a medical term for a heart attack.
Myo = muscle
cardial = of the heart
infart = death due to lack of oxygen
Sometimes it is fatal. Sometime not .Depends on how much and which part of the heart muscle dies.
What led your mother's doctor to make this solemn pronouncement?

Mild cognitive impairment… Well. It's something of nothing, isn't it, just a way of saying let's keep an eye on her.

If you have a glass of wine too many, you're cognitively impaired. If you're short of sleep, ditto. And if you're getting very old, and you're tired, and frankly you just can't be a*sed to make the effort of thinking about things that no longer matter to you… that's what I equate MCI to. That, and the "keep watch" bit. In case.

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