Warning Signs of Cognitive Decline

It can be unpleasant to think about losing our parents or them becoming ill, and when issues involve mental health it can be even more challenging.

But according to recent Mayo Clinic studies this is a problem more and more Americans will have to deal with. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is characterized by cognitive changes which are serious enough to be noticeable, but not severe enough to totally interfere with normal life or independently living.

Between 10-20% of those over 65 suffer from Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and the number of Americans of that age is projected to almost double over the next 20 years.

With larger proportions of the population reaching that age, memory loss is becoming a bigger and bigger issue in the United States.

Recognizing some of these warning signs of cognitive decline can give your family proper time to make any medical and financial decisions before a loved one becomes unable to do so. Warning signs can include:

  • Forgetting important information such family phone numbers or upcoming appointments/events;
  • Having trouble retaining new information such as names and recent conversations;
  • Getting lost while traveling to a familiar destination or on a familiar route;
  • Becoming easily overwhelmed at work or in social settings;
  • Decreased ability to follow conversations, books, and movies, or to remember information that was just read;
  • Increased difficulty in making decisions, creating and following plans, interpreting directions, or every-day tasks such as keeping track of valuables, navigating familiar environments, or cooking.

While it is not always the case, those suffering from MCI are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or other dementia than those who are not. While there is currently no treatment for MCI or Alzheimer’s experts have suggested exercise and other control of cardiovascular risk factors as well as participation in mentally stimulating and socially engaging activities may slow the decline of certain skills.

The best way to prevent these and other issues with your loved ones as they age is to continue caring about them and staying involved in their lives.

Cognitive Decline is something we consider when working with our clients in the matters of Elder Law, Estate Planning, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Guardianship, Asset Preservation and Fiduciary Representation.

Let us help you minimize your stress and be prepared to handle a changing situation.

If you have any questions about what you can do to help protect yourself or your loved ones in these situations, contact Abraham & Bauer today.

Planning ahead is a gift to your loved ones!