Mild Cognitive Impairment: What is it and how can we contribute?

Per the Mayo Clinic:

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more-serious decline of dementia. It can involve problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes.

If you have mild cognitive impairment, you may be aware that your memory or mental function has “slipped.” Your family and close friends also may notice a change. But generally these changes aren’t severe enough to significantly interfere with your day-to-day life and usual activities.

Mild cognitive impairment may increase your risk of later progressing to dementia, caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other neurological conditions. But some people with mild cognitive impairment never get worse, and a few eventually get better.

Individuals with dementia still need to meet the basic needs of physical and cognitive engagement. Non pharmacological approaches are the best treatment to start with. That is where we as therapists come into the equation. Without engagement it can lead to many of the behaviors we witness on a daily basis. Bringing in initialized patient centered care leads to improved quality of life. Please read below for more details into Recreational Activities to Reduce Behavioral Symptoms in Dementia:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2780321/

With mild cognitive impairment it is important to promote independence, engagement with meaning, and positive interaction.

Interventions for promoting independence

(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK55462/)

Communication

ADL skill training

Activity planning

Assistive technology

Adaptive aids (including low-level technology) and environmental modifications

Telecare

Exercise/promoting mobility

Rehabilitation programs for people with dementia

Combining interventions

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