Mild Cognitive Impairment - advice or help required

lighthouse68

Registered User
Nov 26, 2015
18
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.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,353
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
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,732
Hi there
In these early days you might find this useful
http://www.alz.org/greaterdallas/documents/CompassionateComm.pdf

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
 

creativesarah

Registered User
Apr 22, 2010
9,478
East Hunsbury Northamptonshire
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

Sarah
 

AlsoConfused

Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
1,953
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.
 

Quilty

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
1,051
GLASGOW
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.
 

hvml

Registered User
Oct 10, 2015
297
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
 

lighthouse68

Registered User
Nov 26, 2015
18
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

Vicky



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

Sarah
 

lighthouse68

Registered User
Nov 26, 2015
18
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.


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.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,353
South coast
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.
Its only Alzheimers that can be slowed down with medication, Im afraid. MCI is usually vascular in origin :(
 

lighthouse68

Registered User
Nov 26, 2015
18
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.

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.
 

lighthouse68

Registered User
Nov 26, 2015
18
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
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
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.
 

lighthouse68

Registered User
Nov 26, 2015
18
East Yorkshire
thank you

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.

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.