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.

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May 1 7:00am

Day 2: Creating your Resiliency Roadmap

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

Road to Resilience

Welcome back!

Today's session on the resiliency roadmap is part 2 of stress awareness. In our last session, we reflected on our personal signs of stress-physical, emotional, thoughts, and actions.  Today, my goal is to encourage you to identify what types of situations or aspects of those situations are likely to be most difficult for you. If we prepare ahead of time for what is likely to cause us the most stress in challenging situations, we can build our toolbox accordingly.

Situations and Stress

In the resiliency training we are doing with staff at Mayo Clinic Arizona, we are focused on the Mayo Clinic response and planning for COVID-19 cases. That planning means a number of changes we MAY face--reminders of infection control procedures, using personal protection equipment, perhaps being separated from typical colleagues, feeling our roles in the system are not as clear, having less rest time as our shifts change, and on and on. We may not all find all of these aspects of the situation. For example, I may have no stress related to using personal protection equipment, but I may find having less rest time and changes to my sleep quality very stressful. This is a situation-specific list, but this got me thinking--there are probably general aspects of many challenges, no matter what they are, that we could consider in this more broadly applied no matter what the situation.

For example, separation from family and friends (or disconnection from them) can be an aspect of many different challenges individuals can face. Whether you are dealing with social distancing due to COVID-19, limited social contact due to another illness (e.g., cancer treatment, transplant) or finding the ways you interact with others have to change because of physical changes (hearing impairment, cognitive changes), changes to social connection can be a challenge for many.

Because I'm trying to create this as a broader topic, less specific to a certain situation, you'll have to think a bit more abstractly, but I'm hoping you can spend some time discussing with loved ones and in personal reflection thinking about what parts of stressful situations are most difficult. In an attempt to start you off, I've created the worksheet below regarding aspects of stressful situations that MAY be challenging. See if any of these resonate for you, or add you own! I'd be happy to have you add them to the comments today. For example, for me, I find a loss of control to be stressful, and the thing that can really get my body's stress response going. Another challenge for me is loss of sleep. Because I know these things about myself, I have some tools in my toolbox when the situation I'm facing (whatever the situation) has these two features prominently. Developing those tools for you will be the next steps in our journey together!

Road to Resilience

Chime in with your own thoughts and please join me again on Monday where we'll start developing your list of specific stress management tools--First the positive techniques that you already know work for you and then Wednesday of next week I'll recommend a few specific relaxation/stress reducing techniques with some resources to have you try them.

 

 

 

 

For me, lack of control is a big one. Another huge stressor for me may fall under self-doubt but it feels like more than that. It's the feeling of being totally alone in having to figure out how to navigate a new world – how to get groceries delivered, how to get food by curbside pickup, how to join zoom meetings, etc. With MCI, the partner in life that you once had is really not there, and during this self-isolation time, the groups I used to depend on – HABIT, my Caregivers Support Group, etc – aren't there. So when that feeling of being alone in this brave new world hits, I am definitely NOT feeling brave.

COMMENT
@debbraw

For me, lack of control is a big one. Another huge stressor for me may fall under self-doubt but it feels like more than that. It's the feeling of being totally alone in having to figure out how to navigate a new world – how to get groceries delivered, how to get food by curbside pickup, how to join zoom meetings, etc. With MCI, the partner in life that you once had is really not there, and during this self-isolation time, the groups I used to depend on – HABIT, my Caregivers Support Group, etc – aren't there. So when that feeling of being alone in this brave new world hits, I am definitely NOT feeling brave.

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Thanks for being open about your feelings. That is pretty brave in itself.
I hope that this forum helps to fill in the gaps in this hopefully brief purposeful isolation from others.
I have a daily morning practice of getting alone and meditating on many things and persons, the greatest of whom is my Creator.
Considering the beauty of nature, the lovely character of many people, the writings of many people, particulary in the Psalms, the works and words of God's Son, and speaking to and listening to God and His Spirit. The lift me up out of my isolation and raise my hope in this day and the days to come.
I find that reading comments and personal expressions, like yours, move me from the sense of isolation and into togetherness. A comforting sense of community.

COMMENT
@debbraw

For me, lack of control is a big one. Another huge stressor for me may fall under self-doubt but it feels like more than that. It's the feeling of being totally alone in having to figure out how to navigate a new world – how to get groceries delivered, how to get food by curbside pickup, how to join zoom meetings, etc. With MCI, the partner in life that you once had is really not there, and during this self-isolation time, the groups I used to depend on – HABIT, my Caregivers Support Group, etc – aren't there. So when that feeling of being alone in this brave new world hits, I am definitely NOT feeling brave.

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@debbraw Goodmorning . Haven't emailed you lately . I hear you about this new world we have and will have I think . I can and do order groceries online from Walmart 35.00 and free delivery . Also if you go to Instacart and pay a monthly fee of 9.99 you can get from any store and free delivery over 35.00 They will deliver to you put at your door. I wipe everything down now with a clorax wipe before putting away. I haven't joined zoom although my son said he would help me with it . I just figured out how to use Skype. lol . When I get depressed about staying in . I go for a walk put on laugh shows, music or get into a hot tub of water . My Mom had Alzheimer's so I have experienced your feelings as my husband had MCI at the same time . For me work saved my sanity . Best of luck to you . Im grateful for being alive and haven't contacted the virus its sunny out and I just posted a picture on visual effects.

COMMENT

Having to be “in charge” or responsible for everything creates stress for me. I get concerned that I’ll miss or forget something important. I use reminders on my phone, lists, and deep breathing to manage the feeling of stress.

COMMENT

@mmp @lioness @victorkach @debbraw And anyone else who may respond after I post this reply. I'm grateful for all of your honesty and engagement. I'm hoping that we'll be able to add to those tools you are already using as we move through this series.

COMMENT

COVID-19 clearly shows why we must be prepared for the next Pandemic because we failed to prepare for COVID-19.

***EDITED***
This post has been edited.

Liked by lioness

COMMENT

Please keep political opinions to the right forum. This is not the right forum.

COMMENT

For some of us, thinking and talking about the ramifications of the current situation is not only beneficial for the country, but can give us purpose and help to keep us sane in these difficult times.

COMMENT

Thank you @singalsk @victorkach and @lande. You are correct that Mayo Clinic Connect is a forum for people to share health experiences and to give and get support to improve health and wellbeing. Political issues are best discussed on other forums intended for that purpose.

COMMENT

Change in routine. The change of our activity and social calendar is a complete life-style upset at our house. I considered my full time job was keeping busy engaged in activities, and socialization was an almost daily thing with friends and family. More so in the winter with winter visitor family members.
The mistake I made was thinking now we had to be home I could plan all these projects that could be done around the house.
Stressful……it was not working for either of us. I wanted the spare time for projects and my husband was totally at lose ends with nothing to do.
Finally when nothing was going good…..I decided my full time job is activity and companionship around the house. What a relief! Things are going much smoother, and there is definitely less stress. My heart breaks over the cognitive decline losses these last couple of months.

COMMENT
@bonniep

Change in routine. The change of our activity and social calendar is a complete life-style upset at our house. I considered my full time job was keeping busy engaged in activities, and socialization was an almost daily thing with friends and family. More so in the winter with winter visitor family members.
The mistake I made was thinking now we had to be home I could plan all these projects that could be done around the house.
Stressful……it was not working for either of us. I wanted the spare time for projects and my husband was totally at lose ends with nothing to do.
Finally when nothing was going good…..I decided my full time job is activity and companionship around the house. What a relief! Things are going much smoother, and there is definitely less stress. My heart breaks over the cognitive decline losses these last couple of months.

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@bonniep – I totally understand what you are saying. I took a Caregivers class with the Council on Aging and the #1 suggestion they gave us was to keep our person "Content and Involved". That was an eyeopener for me. I truly didn't know that was my job… But when I figured out that it WAS, it has made my life hugely easier. My husband loves to be out in the yard watering, gardening, etc. But if it rains and he has to be inside, I have to plan activities. At this point, I just consider it something I have to take care of… and I know for sure it makes our life more pleasant if I organize activities.

COMMENT

@bonniep and @debbraw this is me right now. I got a double whammy, so to speak. Husband had additional cognitive decline after kidney surgery 5 weeks ago and all our activities I had scheduled have been cancelled with pandemic. It took me a bit but finally realized my job is activities director now – so important to find ways to keep him engaged, active and social (via zoom is what we do now), as much as possible. Our Giving Voice Chorus has continued via zoom which is weekly and wonderful!

I'd love to hear any ideas you can share or resources to identify in home engaging activities?

stay healthy and well!

COMMENT

Hi @mtkamom, you may also wish to follow the Caregiver groups on Connect:
– Caregivers https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/caregivers/
– Caregivers: Dementia https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/caregivers-dementia/

You were asking about engaging activities at home. You might interested in these 2 discussions:
– Activity for elderly to engage the mind https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/activity-for-elderly-to-engage-the-mind/
– Activities to share https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/activities-to-share/

@hopeful33250 will certainly want to hear more about your Giving Voice Chorus continuing via Zoom with weekly rehearsals. Have you recorded anything to share? Tell me more.

COMMENT
@mtkamom

@bonniep and @debbraw this is me right now. I got a double whammy, so to speak. Husband had additional cognitive decline after kidney surgery 5 weeks ago and all our activities I had scheduled have been cancelled with pandemic. It took me a bit but finally realized my job is activities director now – so important to find ways to keep him engaged, active and social (via zoom is what we do now), as much as possible. Our Giving Voice Chorus has continued via zoom which is weekly and wonderful!

I'd love to hear any ideas you can share or resources to identify in home engaging activities?

stay healthy and well!

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Yes, music is therapeutic ❣️Thank you reminding us that we can sing via the internet, zoom?
I need to learn more when we return to the joy of singing. We will have a new learning curve?

Many thanks for reminding me about our wonderful new (to me) learning to communicate!
My husband’s men’s church meets on line. God provides.
Thanks again.

COMMENT

Addendum 😇Men’s church, bible study group

COMMENT
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