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Mild Cognitive Impairment - advice or help required

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by lighthouse68, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. lighthouse68

    lighthouse68 Registered User

    Nov 26, 2015
    East Yorkshire
    Hi All

    New to talking point and it has been suggested by another member to start a thread.

    My mother has been diagnosed with MCI.
    We have never had any dealings with dementia in the family, both my father and I are struggling to know how to cope at times with mum's issues.

    My mum has gone from being a bright, alert, intelligent, warm, kind and loving lady who has always been creative with sewing, knitting, baking and cooking. She would always complete the Sunday crossword no matter what it took, her general knowledge and mathematic ability was quick and spot on.

    We have seen her change greatly. Some days she looks lost, and paces around the house not knowing what to do. Her attention span is limited, and apathy has crept in. She struggles to cook, and follow any kind of recipe any longer. Her conversation is often non existent and we are reduced to either yes or no answers....not necessarily in the correct place, or even just 'don't know'. This can be very frustrating for all of us, and most upsetting too.

    My Dad an I feel at quite a loss, and often feel very alone with this.

    If there is anyone in a similar situation and has any advice, I would love to hear from you.

    The carer support office have given me lots of leaflets, but input from other people would help.

    Many thanks for reading

    Thoughts and regards to all.
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hello lighthouse.
    It is always sad when we see things that our loved ones can no longer do.
    Why dont you try out some local activities designed for people with dementia?

    There are usually local groups, dementia cafes and things like Singing for the Brain which she may enjoy listening to even if she cant join in. There are also day centres especially for people with dementia which are very good at offering stimulation, but I think you have to ask Social Services about that.
    Its very difficult to generalise because what is on offer varies throughout the country and every person with dementia is different. Why not give local groups a try and see what she likes? There are probably lists of the groups in the leaflets you have been given
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Hi there
    In these early days you might find this useful

    There are all sorts of services 'out there' and if you run into any difficulties then do post, someone will have some ideas, suggestions or tried and trusted methods

    I agree with Canary that social stimulation is really good - Alzheimers do 'singing for the brain' and everyone I have spoken to has really enjoyed it. Another good thing in the early days is perhaps to go out to the cinema.

    People with memory loss have told me how exhausting everything becomes - an uphill struggle and it can be frightening for the person too particularly in busy environments but we kept things like shopping (usually in the evenings when it was quiet) going - to keep in touch with the 'real' world

    One thing to watch out for is any sudden down turn which can be caused by infection - commonly a urine infection - and has a huge impact and increases confusion massively and sometimes causes hallucinations. like you i was not very familiar with things and it gave me a massive shock when it first happened but is quickly sorted out with antibiotics, just worth being aware of.

    Take care, take it one day at a time and keep posting xx
  4. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
  5. creativesarah

    creativesarah Registered User

    Hello Lighthouse

    Lots of wise advice already

    I have MCI and at first my diagnosis seemed to be the end of the world.

    I had to give up driving and I live with friends in a rural village which has made things difficult in terms of independance and freedom!

    I too find cooking difficult but for as long as I can cook I will cook tonight I made some cookies. I have good days and bad days sometimes my head feels as if its full of cement and other days its like thick porridge but some days are much better and I feel more like my old self.

    I pursue my hobbies as best I can, I like taking photos so I do a lot of that!

    I have joined Weight Watchers (other diets are available) as I put on weight through lack of activity, and although I walk with a stick (I actually use a trekking pole, a good conversation starter in itself! and its better for your posture!) as my balance is bad I can now do quite long walks:)

    People dont always understand but thats life If I can help you in any way I gladly will

  6. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    creativesarah is a role model for lots of us, I feel, she's life-enhancing.

    As I understand it, it's very important to get started on the medication that slows down AD at this very early stage of the disease. I read somewhere (in the Independent, Guardian or possibly in an original research paper?), that much of the brain damage done to neural connections is during the MCI stage of the disease.

    Please push the doctors hard on what medication may help and what the current research is showing about how best to delay the development of the disease.

    My Mum was put on Aricept early ... I think that helped her.
  7. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    A good connection for me and my mum 8s to watch dvds of movies from her youth. She has a love of Dorris day and 50s musicals. It feels so relaxed and normal when we sit and watch together. She brightens and we talk about what we are watching. Its an easy thing to try. Anything that keeps a connection and taps into good memories.
  8. hvml

    hvml Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    North Cornwall
    My dad loves watching music dvds, especially Frank Sinatra. We watched them together and he is invariably transported. You could also try doing some crafts /cooking together, so that you can help her out if she gets stuck. It's been important for me to make sure that we have a lot of happy moments, to keep dad stimulated and for me to have as happy memories.

    Heidi xx
  9. lighthouse68

    lighthouse68 Registered User

    Nov 26, 2015
    East Yorkshire
    Thank you

    Hi Sarah

    Thank you for taking the time to post a rely, I really appreciate everyone's wise words and advice, it's really helpful and lovely to know there are others in similar situations.

    Mum has also given up her driving licence too. It's interesting to know how you feel, my mum doesn't tell us whether her mind feels foggy as you say, but sometimes I'm sure she must feel like her mind is porridge too.

    I try to encourage mum to continue with hobbies and I help when she looks confused by knitting patters etc. She's not the most outgoing person, but she enjoys company even though the doesn't join in conversations very much.

    We struggle to comprehend how she feels and knowing the best way to help her etc. She often knows what she wants to say but struggles to get the words to come out.

    Thank you again, any help and support is appreciated by dad and I


  10. lighthouse68

    lighthouse68 Registered User

    Nov 26, 2015
    East Yorkshire
    Hi, that's interesting to see about medication. The memory clinic said there wasn't any medication that would help.

    I will suggest that the doctors are pressed regarding any sort of medication that may slow the effects of MCI progression down.

    Thank you so much for replying.

  11. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Its only Alzheimers that can be slowed down with medication, Im afraid. MCI is usually vascular in origin :(
  12. lighthouse68

    lighthouse68 Registered User

    Nov 26, 2015
    East Yorkshire
    That's a lovely idea, I've got her South Pacific on DVD as she loves the film and music. If she can engage in watching something it keeps her away, otherwise she just drops off to sleep.
    I try very hard to keep her engaged and have fun together as we used to do.
    Sometimes it's a flat NO and she closed up, she never used to do that so these are the changes we're meeting.

  13. lighthouse68

    lighthouse68 Registered User

    Nov 26, 2015
    East Yorkshire
    MCI Update

    Hi All

    Haven't posted anything for a while until yesterday, but it would seem the gremlins ate the post!!

    Just thought I would put an update of our situation.

    As previously posted, my mum was diagnosed with MCI last year. We h oped that the situation would stay stable, however, sadly it seems to be declining.

    The small part of her brain that was damaged by a tiny stroke affects the puzzling, communication and knowing part. We struggle to get any sort of conversation with her, and answers tend to be either yes or no...not necessarily in the right places. Shopping can be a mystery as she struggles to fathom our her money, brings things not on the list or brings the correct shopping to half way down the list, then gives up or loses direction and goes home. She is able to manage to use the bus into town on her own still, but sometimes if we're out with her, she's like a rabbit caught in headlights and needs reassurance and guidance which we always provide.

    She also constantly paces around the house, or into the garden, up and dow the stairs etc. This is very tiring for anyone present. I've found that a colouring book is very helpful, she will sit and colour for hours. Her completed pictures are both neatly done and beauitully colour co-ordinated. she has always been a creative and intelegent lady. She has lost the ability to knit, sew and do simple crosswords, all of which she used to do without a second thought, and enjoy thoroughly.

    She laughs along with funny TV programms etc and will laugh if we tell her something funny. Keeping her engaged in anything or getting her to listen whilst you're speaking to her is something we struggle greatley with.

    We're managing to bumble along with this situation, but struggle at times. It can be very frustrating, but we understand that mum can't help it. We love her just the same.

    Thank you for taking the time to read.
    Sending hugs and kind thoughts to all xx
  14. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    I feel for you lighthouse68. What you describe is so difficult.

    I'm so glad there are still things that keep your mum occupied though and that her artistic side is still functioning enough to allow her to colour in so tastefully. Also good to hear that she still has a sense of humour. These are things to appreciate and treasure.
  15. lighthouse68

    lighthouse68 Registered User

    Nov 26, 2015
    East Yorkshire
    thank you

    Hi Stanleypj

    Thank you for kind words. Believe me it means a lot to know that there are people here who understand and can offer kind words of support.
    It is lovely to see her artistic colouring, when many other tasks seem a fog, the colouring is a little beacon of light of what used to be. Laughter is always good, and sometimes it can be a case of laugh otherwise we'll cry.

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