Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking

Welcome to the HABIT page for people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and program participants.  The HABIT Program is for individuals with MCI and their loved ones to learn the best strategies for adapting, coping, and living their best lives with MCI.

Follow the HABIT page to receive updates and information about adjusting to MCI and combating dementia. Our goal is to connect you with others and provide you with information and support.

PUBLIC PAGE
Sep 29 8:42am

Inspiration, Acceptance, and Erasing Stigma

By Dr. Dona Locke, HABIT AZ Director, @DrDonaLocke

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A couple of weeks ago, we reposted an article about sharing a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment. This is always a topic of discussion in our HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence and Thinking program. In addition, many of our patients also discuss the changes they see in their abilities when MCI enters the picture. All of these discussions are important and though we try to guide discussions around the pros and cons of sharing a diagnosis and provide support for adapting to cognitive changes, in the end the decisions to share (or not) and adapting to change are really in the hands of the person living with MCI. I see bravery in every single one of my patients as we work together, and they inspire me every day.

In my personal life, my husband and I started watching a television show called The World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji. Have you guys seen these races?  They are insane one week+ races that involve pretty much every kind of terrain and every kind of racing--Biking, running, mountain climbing, swimming, rafting--you name it, and these teams do it.  My husband could probably actually do a race like this, but I enjoy sitting on the couch marveling in the achievements of these teams.

A few episodes in, we were introduced to Team Endure and Mark Macy. Mr. Macy is apparently an eco-challenge legend, but he reveals that he's recently been diagnosed with early Alzheimer's disease. He participated in this race with his son and other supportive team members, and it was AMAZING to see him. He was so open, honest, and determined. His team adjusted their race plan to be sure Mr. Macy got a good night sleep every night (rather than racing without sleep as the teams normally do). They adapted and along the way did their part to erase the stigma of cognitive impairment and prove that you still CAN to the things you love (although probably with some adaptation) even with a cognitive impairment diagnosis such as MCI or early Alzheimer's disease. In the end, they had to discontinue the race due to a back injury, but his story was an inspiration to watch.

So, I hope that Mr. Macy might inspire you to be open about your MCI, to join him in eroding the stigma that comes from a cognitive diagnosis, and to keep pursuing your passions--whatever they are--even while acknowledging that how you pursue those passions may have to change.

Thank you, Mr. Macy, for inspiring me (and likely many other viewers), just like my patients inspire me every day.

 

Who inspires you in the face of cognitive impairment or illness? We'd love to hear!

 

 

 

My husband inspires me, he is open about his MCI diagnosis, he is able to maintain his sense of humor, he has a positive attitude and together we approach the changing landscape as a team. He’s willing to share his thoughts and feelings with me and this makes it possible for me to be supportive, loving, and positive. Thanks for motivating me to put this into words.

COMMENT
@mmp

My husband inspires me, he is open about his MCI diagnosis, he is able to maintain his sense of humor, he has a positive attitude and together we approach the changing landscape as a team. He’s willing to share his thoughts and feelings with me and this makes it possible for me to be supportive, loving, and positive. Thanks for motivating me to put this into words.

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Thank you so much for sharing! I'll bet he inspires those around him as well!

COMMENT

A small note to thank all who responded to me. I have gained important information from you and am working diligently to put it to use. I, too, am fortunate to have a wonderful partner who is letting me work with him as he confronts this disease. He is amazing! Together we are planning for whatever lies ahead. Our outlook is to prepare for the worse and hope for the best. I treasure each and every moment we have together. Wishing an abundance of those moments for each of you.

COMMENT
@ann59

A small note to thank all who responded to me. I have gained important information from you and am working diligently to put it to use. I, too, am fortunate to have a wonderful partner who is letting me work with him as he confronts this disease. He is amazing! Together we are planning for whatever lies ahead. Our outlook is to prepare for the worse and hope for the best. I treasure each and every moment we have together. Wishing an abundance of those moments for each of you.

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My first response since our HABIT session in Aug 2019 in LaCrosse, WI. We are also blessed that Virginia is very understanding of what is going on and we both are talking about how we adjust to changing behaviors. We have played lots of golf and walk the dog daily. Gardening is about over for the year in Minnesota and we are getting ready to shovel snow, something Virginia really likes to do. A local ALZ chapter has on line support group and that has been a help for me. Before the pandemic they had a coffee group that we both went, but that is on hold. While the future is uncertain, we continue to be thankful what we can continue to do together

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