This post is sponsored by Brookdale Senior Living. The information and opinions presented here are all mines. General forgetfulness is a normal part of the aging process. But if you’re noticing your older parent or family member is having trouble with basic everyday tasks like using the phone, driving, finding their way home, remembering to take medications, or eating properly, they may be experiencing.
A loss of memory beyond what may be considered normal. According to the American Psychological Association, it’s estimated that 15% – 20% of seniors over age 65 meet the criteria for something called Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). A time when our memories and cognitive function are just starting to “slip,” with Mild Cognitive Impairment, seniors can often still take care of themselves and perform day-to-day tasks.
For some, it does not progress, and if caught early enough, studies have shown that symptoms of MCI can be improved or slowed with certain activities like physical and mental exercises. For others, MCI is the stopover between a healthy mind and dementia. One study of people diagnosed with MCI found that within 3 years, 65% of the group had progressed to a diagnosis of dementia (1)
Dementia, a general term used to describe the loss of healthy cognitive functioning, thinking, and reasoning, is not a natural part of aging. A staggering 33% of all women and 20% of men will go on to develop dementia. With a variety of causes (only one being Alzheimer’s disease), those living with dementia can decline in health and well-being, be unable to take care of themselves, and may at some point require something called Memory Care.