The Role of Nurses in Screening and Caring for Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment in Community
Keywords:screening, mild cognitive impairment, older adult, dementia
Introduction: Mild Cognitive Impairment or MCI is the symptomatic predementia phase which progresses from normal aging to Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Objective: To describe the definition of mild cognitive impairment and dementia, screening for cognitive impairment, and the role of nurses in screening and caring for older adults. Key Issues: Mild Cognitive Impairment and mild dementia are important because these signs and symptoms are common problems that can be found in older adults living in the community, Amnestic MCI or memory impairment is the more concern variety since it is more likely a precursor to Alzheimer's disease. However, people with mild cognitive impairment can remain normal or delay the progression to dementia if we have early detection and have appropriate interventions to enhance cognitive function. Currently, the misuse and confusion in the definition of “dementia” causing many older adults to be stigmatized when they were diagnosed with dementia. This means being an older adult with dementia who is often lost, forgets everything, and being helpless. In fact, the older adult may have only mild cognitive impairment. Conclusion: The ability to detect signs, symptoms, and screen for mild cognitive impairment as well as proper management and timely treatment is another important role for nurses in the community. This will help the older adults to have the potential to be self-reliant as long as possible without being a burden to the family. Implication: Early screening of mild cognitive impairment is crucial. Nurses should keep in mind that although dementia mainly affects older adults, it is not a normal part of aging.
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