5 years ago my husband was diagnosed with mild cognitive decline. What can I expect in the years to come?

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He can still manage his checkbook and knows his way fine to drive. However he has a problem keeping his legs still when sitting in his recliner and I noticed he has difficulty understanding new information. His hearing is atrocious although he has hearing aids. I guess my question is, am I looking at around 20 more years of this? I am not complaining, just am nervous at whatever happens, and thinking the worst. He will not discuss this issue with me. Candace

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I said if you are lucky he won't get worse. this comment is based on the amount of researching going into this disease. I would be amiss if I did not mention having all legal papers in a row. I assumed that you did. my mistake. you should follow everything he does financial, socially, medically and be prepared for the worse. I only truly meant if you are lucky he won't get worse I thought it was you needed to hear at the moment please do the logical for his worse though.
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He will get worse. THEY NEVER GET BETTER. Get all the legal stuff in order, please! - this is so important! - and be prepared for the worst. Good luck,
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Extreme aggravation is what you can expect.
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if you are lucky hopefully he won't get worse
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Mild cognitive impairment can remain fairly steady for years and then suddenly progress. It happened to my mom. We noticed that over the past 2 years, she started repeating herself, asking the same questions, asking me if I knew my aunt, etc. My sister is a geriatrician and she explained that MCI can progress with age and then turn into a different classification of dementia that is not so mild.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mild-cognitive-impairment/symptoms-causes/syc-20354578
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I agree that he needs further follow up and testing since MCI does not necessarily progress.

"People with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have problems with memory, language, thinking or judgement that are greater than the cognitive changes associated with normal aging. Family, friends and the person with MCI may notice these changes and they can be measured in tests, but the changes in cognitive abilities are not serious enough to interfere with daily life and independence.
MCI may increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. However, some people remain stable and others may even show an improvement in cognitive abilities over time. Not everyone diagnosed with MCI goes on to develop Alzheimer’s.
There is no single cause or outcome for people diagnosed with MCI. A wide range of cognitive abilities can be impaired, but for the majority of people memory is most affected." (alzheimer.ca)
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It's hard to tell because there are multiple reasons for dementia, such as inflammation, strokes, medications (e.g. acid blockers, antidepressants, medicines for urinary incontinence), Type-3 diabetes (worsened by a high carbohydrate-low fat diet), nutritional deficiencies, chronic bladder infections, chronic sinus candida infections, Lyme disease, and toxicity (e.g. mold).

BTW, many patients diagnosed with Alzhemier's actually have Type-3 diabetes.
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You might look into the Rock Steady program. Mostly for Parkinson’s patients but definitely helping with muscle and memory. And the legs - if suggestions to give up driving are not received well from you, it might need to come from a doctor. Doctor explained that while you think you are ok, how would you feel if you could not stop quickly enough and hit someone else, possibly causing a lot of damage or even major injury or death to someone else. That got his attention.
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It is not an easy road and yes! you will develop a strength and patience you never knew you had.

Mom has Alzheimer and vascular dementia. The first thing I had to do was take the car keys. This took about 5 months of adjustment in all our parts as it was a hit to her independence. I had to take her and pick her up from her volunteer activity 2 afternoons a week, and do all the needed driving for her. When I got held back at work, she would take the bus back and that worked out for a while...until she took the wrong bus and was lost to us for 4 hours! She ended up in the next city's bus depot at night. She had a cell phone, thank God, but she did not know how to tell us where she was during those 4 hours. Finally, I told her to give the phone to a person nearby the bus stop, and to our luck, a VERY nice man said he would stay with her until we arrived 30 minutes later. We were very lucky on this one and I sadly realized that here was another activity she could no longer be trusted with.

Then, she made a $500 mistake in her checkbook, writing checks to scams and not subtracting properly. That was the next activity I had to take over for her. That also took time to adjust and she continually asked me for her checkbook because she needed it....many excuses for that. Careful here, be strong. Stick to your guns on this one or it can clean out your/his funds without you knowing. This went on for a year or two, during which she also cancelled her supplemental insurance! We only found out months later when she ended up in the hospital and the admin office called us for payment.

There are more incidents to report as they go with the territory. YOU need to prepare yourself for all this so you can manage it as it comes. I would strongly suggest to draw up a POA for you to be responsible for financial and health issues for him. Also, begin working with an Elder Lawyer to recognize, prepare and protect your finances should you have to apply for Medicaid in the future.

I hope this helps. Take it a day at a time, but DO prepare ahead of time. Do trust in grace to accompany you in this journey, but be proactive and prepare ahead. All the best!
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5 years ago he got the MCD diagnosis has he seen any Neurologists since then? or a Neuropsychologist?
MCD is a very loose term and it is good to get as accurate diagnosis as is possible. 5 years is a long time. My husband was "diagnosed" with Alzheimer's but I believe he also had a vascular dementia. This just from the way his declines happened. Would it have made a difference if I/we had gotten the dual diagnosis from the beginning? Probably not but but I would have been more prepared for the types of declines he had.

And I am in your camp in the fact that my Husband never discussed the diagnosis, what he wanted to do, what he wanted me to do and all that other "stuff"

It may be close to when you may have to start taking the keys away from him. Or at least never let him drive alone now so you can monitor how he is and how he reacts. The leg movement might be a problem when driving.

Hearing aids increase the volume of everything so even background noise becomes increased making it difficult to hear as well. And if his brain is not functioning properly it may be difficult for him to sort out what is necessary and what is not. (hearing problems can also make driving more difficult if you have relied on hearing your whole life)
My other suggestions are for you.
If you have not seen an Elder Care Attorney to set up all the proper papers you will need, protect your house and properties and other assets do that YESTERDAY! (ok, got it, yesterday is impossible but do it now!)
Start looking into Adult Day Care if there are any in your area. YOU will need it, just to get him out of the house a few hours a day for a few days a week.
Discuss with your husband now what does he want from you. Does he want you to be caregiver and he remain home? Is the home set up for that. Even before he needs caregivers adaptations to the house will be helpful. Hard wood in place of carpets, walk in shower, enough room around a toilet to get a walker, raised toilets, grab bars, bedroom on the first floor....I could go on but you get the idea.
Look for a good Alzheimer's support group. There are some that are specific to spouses but any good group is better than none. And the first group you attend might not be a good "fit" for you look for another if you don't mesh after the first few sessions.

As to the how long..
My husband was 63 when he was diagnosed he survived for 10 years following the diagnosis. I say survived because he certainly did not live the last 3 years of his life, he merely existed. Bits and pieces remained but he was not the strong, vibrant man with a great smile I met 35 years previously.

Another side note if your Husband is a Veteran contact the VA or go to a VA commission office and get as much information you can on him, his paperwork, discharge papers the VA has some great programs and they were very helpful to me. I could not have done what I did the last 7 years without the help of the VA then Hospice for the last 3 years.
Long hard road, you will find strength that you never knew you had!!!
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