Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) – What Does It Mean and How Can Residences Senior Living Help?

senior woman with granddaughter

Mild Cognitive Impairment (“MCI”) can cause a slight but noticeable and measurable decline in cognitive abilities, including memory and thinking skills. A person with MCI is at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

About Mild Cognitive Impairment

MCI causes cognitive changes that are noticed by the individual experiencing them or to other people, but the changes are not severe enough to interfere with daily life or independent function.

Not all people with MCI get worse and some eventually get better. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 15 to 20 percent of those aged 65 and older may have MCI.


Experts classify MCI based on the thinking skills affected:

MCI that primarily affects memory is known as “Amnestic MCI”. With this type of MCI, a person may start to forget important information that he or she would previously have recalled easily, such as appointments, conversations or recent events.

MCI that affects thinking skills other than memory is known as “Non-Amnestic” MCI. Thinking skills that may be affected by Non-Amnestic MCI include the ability to make sound decisions, judge the time sequence of steps needed to complete a task or visual perception.

Treatment and Outcomes:
There are no medications currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat MCI.

Some studies suggest that the following activities may help to slow the decline in thinking skills:

• Exercise on a regular basis to benefit your heart and blood vessels, including those that nourish your brain

• Participate in mentally stimulating and socially engaging activities which may help sustain brain function

Other Common Conditions that Can Affect Our Mental Sharpness

Treating these conditions can help improve your memory and overall mental function. Conditions that can affect memory include:

• High blood pressure  – People with MCI tend to be more likely to have problems with the blood vessels inside their brains. High blood pressure can worsen these problems and cause memory difficulties.

• Depression – When you’re depressed, you can often feel mentally “foggy”. Depression is common in people with MCI. Treating depression may help improve memory, while making it easier to cope with life changes.

• Sleep apnea – With this condition, your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you’re asleep, which can make it difficult to get a complete night’s rest. Sleep apnea can make you feel fatigued during the day, forgetful and unable to concentrate. Treatment can improve these symptoms and restore alertness.

Does MCI Mean My Loved One Requires a Secured Memory Care Community?

Becoming forgetful of dates, and/or simple tasks does not necessarily mean a person requires a typical  secure memory care community or service.

In many cases at Residences Senior Living, increased socialization, medication assistance, and encouragement can significantly improve symptoms and overall quality of life all while living in our licensed Senior Living community.

How Residences Senior Living Approaches Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Residences Senior Living is proud to offer our Senior Living residents access to expertly trained staff and team members who can provide coaching, guidance and customized programming to help those with MCI develop successful coping strategies which may help to slow the decline in thinking skills and help continue to promote independent function in daily life.

We can assist our residents with cognitive impairment to be as independent as possible in the following ways:

• Regular senior friendly exercise classes to benefit your heart and blood vessels, including those that nourish your brain

• Mentally stimulating and socially engaging activities, which may help sustain brain function

• Assist with meal and snack time reminders

• Coach and guide residents through doing their own personal laundry

• Grooming assistance to help locate supplies

• Toileting reminders

• Walking along-side the resident for safety and guidance to destination

• Bathing supervision, and stand-by as emergency support

• Reminders for life enrichment activities and outings

Our residents can enjoy the independence of home with the safety and security of our highly trained team members on-site 24/7.

For more information on how Residences Senior Living can help you or a loved one manage their MCI, call one of our friendly team members to schedule an appointment or tour our communities 1-800-557-9176.