Cognitive impairment is characteristic not only of aging. While senior adults often suffer from forgetfulness and mild cognitive issues, some health conditions, genetic diseases, and injuries might cause serious memory problems, disorientation, loss of mental abilities, etc. 

Caring for someone with cognitive impairment is not an easy task. While patients with mild cognitive disorders might just need simple support, adults with severe cognitive function symptoms require close monitoring and consistent treatment, often on a 24/7 basis.  

If you seek professional assistance and personal care services in Nassau or other parts of the New York state for your loved one with cognitive problems, you can’t go wrong with Galaxy Home Care. However, it won’t go amiss to learn how to help someone with mild cognitive impairment on your own.  

What Does It Mean to Be Cognitively Impaired?

Cognitive impairment is a health condition when a person has memory, perception, understanding, and comprehension problems and shows signs of disorientation, confusion, and depression.

Usually, cognitive impairment is an early stage of dementia or other more serious mental dysfunctions. The most obvious symptoms of cognition issues include:

  • Short-term memory loss;
  • Difficulties in communication;
  • Distraction;
  • Concentration problems;
  • Forgetfulness. 

Speaking of the causes behind this mental condition, mild cognitive impairment is usually a problem of aging adults, while more serious functional disorders might be caused by: 

  • Certain health conditions and diseases such as strokes, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease;
  • Family history of dementia;
  • Brain injuries;
  • Stress;
  • Adverse reactions to some medications.

How to Talk to Someone With Cognitive Impairment

When caring for someone with cognitive impairment at home, you should know how to communicate with such patients and hold their attention, since many of them have problems concentrating on something for a long time.

There are a few helpful tips that will let you improve communications and make mild cognitive impairment senior care easier:

  • Before starting a conversation, make sure your loved one is listening, and you have their attention. Call them by name, and try to speak at eye level and in short sentences. Make pauses, so they have enough time to respond;
  • Avoid using commands. It’s better to ask using kind and simple words that show your care and let your near and dear feel safe;
  • Cognitive disorder patients might have trouble conveying their thoughts in proper words, so you should try to read emotions they might render by gestures;
  • Show your engagement by attentively listening to your loved ones, even if you don’t quite understand what they mean. They need to feel cared for. Demonstrate your interest, attention, and appreciation by touching their hands or hugging them.   

Instructions on How to Help Someone With Cognitive Impairment

In-home assistance for mild cognitive impairment patients doesn’t seem very difficult. Many of them still retain self-help skills and just need some support to stay active and live in comfort. 

That said, there are elderly persons with more serious conditions further aggravated by chronic diseases or other health problems. They require permanent monitoring and closer care. You can always rely on skilled nursing home care services in New York City, and other areas to help your elderly, whatever the condition.

However, if you still want to do it on your own, our care plan for mild cognitive impairment patients will help you organize home care for your loved ones in the best way possible.  

1. Study the Diagnosis

Approaches to caring for someone with mild cognitive impairment will vary depending on the patient’s overall health condition, age, and diagnosis. To develop the strategy that will best work for your loved one and you as a caregiver, you should learn about their diagnosis as much as you can. 

In most cases, cognitive impairment is progressive by nature, and you should know what to be ready for over time. This way, you’ll stay on top of the symptoms and will be able to modify treatment and care routines accordingly. 

2. Observe and Evaluate

When you care for someone with mild cognitive impairment, comfort is the key. Striving to improve the life quality for your loved one, you shouldn’t sacrifice your own comfort. An ideal formula is minimum stress for a caregiver and maximum support for a person under care. 

To achieve that, you should monitor the individual’s behavior, determine their needs, and detect where they need assistance the most to come up with a long-term care plan you’ll be able to adjust as the needs of your loved one change.  

3. Set Up a Positive Environment

Individuals with cognitive impairment easily get overwhelmed and distracted. Due to low concentration, they might feel confused and mixed up. With that in mind, it’s vital to maintain a friendly yet calm atmosphere where your loved one will feel safe and confident, with no rush around them. 

4. Create Routines

An organized daily schedule is a great backup for people with cognitive impairment problems. So, work out a simple basic plan covering habitual actions and routines your loved one got used to and can rely on not to fall out of more or less normal life. 

5. Remember About Diet and Exercise

A healthy diet combined with exercise positively impacts cognitive function and will prevent the decline of a condition. Thus, ensure your loved one eats a balanced diet and is regularly engaged in some sort of physical activity, be it swimming, gardening, or simply walking. 

6. Maintain Social Connections 

Socialization is vitally important for cognitive impairment individuals. It helps them feel needed and engaged and maintains their emotional health. Create support groups of close friends and family members that will regularly communicate with your loved one.  

Getting Ready to Start Caring for Someone With Cognitive Impairment

To efficiently care for someone with cognitive impairment, you should avoid spontaneous decisions and actions. If you are going to carry this function on your own, get prepared:

  • Obtain a complete diagnosis and medication prescriptions;
  • Know your loved one prime household and healthcare needs;
  • Address home safety to prevent accidents;
  • Consult the specialists to get professional recommendations. 

If you don’t feel confident enough to cope with cognitive impairment care or simply lack time for that, you can hire a professional care provider like Galaxy Home Care, operating in New York. 

Backed by experienced and skilled staff and diverse care programs, Galaxy Home Care offers an individual approach and high-quality service to patients and their families. You can order at-home personal care services in New York City, or any other part of the state and ensure your loved ones will comfortably stick to their daily living activities. 

And if you seek professional treatment assistance, skilled nursing in Nassau will provide access to qualified help from registered nurses. We also have specialty care programs for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s patients on the Galaxy Home Care service list. So, feel free to contact us for a detailed consultation.

faq

  1. How long can a person live with mild cognitive impairment?

    The life expectancy of cognitive impairment patients largely depends on their age. According to the study, it’s over 20 years for individuals at age 60 to 70 and around three years for people at age 90+.

  2. How soon can a mild cognitive impairment turn into dementia?

    The latest surveys show that cognitive impairment issues affect about 10 million people in the US. And 10 to 15% of them develop dementia within a year.

  3. How to cope with short-term memory loss?

    Unless it’s caused by some disease, short-term memory loss normally improves when the cause is treated. To help yourself, get a good night’s sleep, eat healthy and nutritious foods, follow habitual routines, and get involved in activities that will engage both your body and your memory. Exercising and doing puzzles or crosswords helps a lot.  

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