To the Editor:
Mild Cognitive Impairment, or MCI, is described as a more rapid loss of one’s short term memory as compared with normal memory decline that we all experience during aging. Simply stated, MCI can be described as early onset of dementia, a general term to describe a decline in memory retention and later, motor skills that may interfere with daily life.
It develops in stages, with 60% to 80% of the cases advancing to Alzheimer’s, a disease that is affecting an increasing number of Americans.
In our 62nd year of marriage, we want to share with all of you some constructive suggestions that has helped make our journey a more pleasant, happier experience.
First, understand that dementia, just like diabetes, presently has no cure. Early clinical detection, prescription medications and supplements, as well as life changing adjustments, can help.
Personally, my wife and I are convinced that the steps we have taken have contributed to slowing down her memory loss. Those include physical activities such as golf, tennis, swimming, biking, walking, gardening and aerobic exercises; social interaction such as singing in a choir and dancing; word puzzles, games and diet recommendations from the neurologist; family acknowledgement and involvement; and a genuine loving partnership.
Finally, for spouses and those who have a relationship with a care receiver, don’t attempt to go it alone. Get professional help, expand your knowledge, volunteer at Memory Matters etc. while maintaining a positive attitude.
(The above was written in August 2017. Our update for May 2022, follows.)
Our life together continues to evolve with its challenges, but most importantly with understanding and love.
Earle and Nancy Everett