Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Something I never gave a thought to as I worked in a highly technical environment. But weird, little unexplainable ‘things’ started happening. In my late 50’s I didn’t feel as sharp as I usually did. After several years of searching for ‘what’ was wrong, I was finally diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Looking for help, I came across an article and found some exciting things that educated me about MCI and other associated brain conditions.
The sad thing is it took five years before I received a diagnosis. I’ve met many people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) since then. All of these conditions are associated with different brain conditions leading to forgetfulness and dementia. Additionally, I learned that even with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), I am quite active, mentally and physically, as you can see from this blog. I learned some great information
1. Mild Cognitive Impairment!
I knew what it meant. My mother had Alzheimer’s and passed away some 15+ years ago. Additionally, a few of her brothers and sisters also had it. I found it has a tendency to run in families. I began my journey to diagnosis, going to various doctors to find out what was wrong with me. That took five years because, in the eyes of these doctors, I was too young to have Alzheimer’s. Now seven years later, I am always searching for things to help me manage life comfortably and share those things with others, like me.
As a New Jersey Advocate for the Alzheimer’s Organization, my goal is to help others. My own personal interest is to help others recognize the early conditions, provide names of the many services available, and show others afflicted, ways to manage this progressive disease. So to begin, let’s talk about some places to get great support, like the Memory Centers.
3. What Are Memory Centers?
Memory Centers are located throughout the U.S. The closest one to me was Penn Memory Center in Pennsylvania. Every six months, I travel 1.5 hours (both to and from) to see the Specialists there. In researching the Penn Memory Center, I came across a ton of ‘Memory Centers’ throughout the US. Note: These are not the Memory Center Care Facilities such as Nursing homes. These are research facilities with physicians who care for people with conditions like Alzheimer’s, other types of dementia, and brain conditions. I didn’t know that there were different types of dementia, i.e., various brain diseases until I was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.
2. Who Can Help?
Most people do not understand how to get a diagnosis for Early Onset Alzheimer’s. No matter what, it is worth an appointment to have access to the most recent research and strategies for caring for our brain. For instance, Early Onset Alzheimer’s, Alzheimer’s, Lewey Body Disease, and any condition that deals with dementia. These facilities provide emotional support, access to clinical trials, therapeutics, and organizational support. There are valuable resources, well worth the travel, to get to one of these facilities with the absolute best doctors in the world! I urge you to use them.
Why don’t we know more about these Alzheimer research centers, diagnosis, care, new treatments, Clinical Trials, and the latest, greatest, upcoming news? I’m not sure about others who have visited, but I can guarantee you that I was impressed with my care, the caring staff, the doctors, and the information provided. Hence this article. This is the perfect reason for this blog post. I felt special because of the in-depth attention I received.
Memory Centers are located all over the United States. I live in NJ but travel to Pennsylvania for my appointments. Of course, I don’t live that far (1.5-hour drive one way), but I would stay overnight to go to one of these Centers if I needed one. Check the picture below to find what Center is nearest to you. Don’t pass up a phenomenal visit to one of these organizations! Leaving there, I felt relieved that 1) they cared about their patients, 2) they knew what they were doing, and 3) you receive excellent care.
I triple urge anyone with Early Onset Alzheimer, Alzheimer’s, or other brain conditions with dementia, to definitely visit the nearest Center near you. When I have my appointments, I look forward to going because I’m getting the best care possible! Other reasons to be impressed.
- Friendly doctors and staff that know their field.
- Friendly and clean environment
- Access to a number of resources that we just don’t think about (medicines, clinical trials, social services, etc.)
- Testing to see your improvement or rate of decline
- Prescriptions or medicines needed based on conditions
Mind you. It may take some time to get an appointment, so call as soon as you can. I waited for approximately 3 weeks prior to my actual appointment. But I promise you – it is well worth the wait and the 1 and 1/2 hour drive. However now, due to Covid, they are doing virtual appointments. They are efficient and keep up with the times! Interested in going to one of these wonderful Memory Centers? Click the Memory Centers link or the map below to find the states where this care is available.
Browse the list of ADRCs by State below. Just click on the link.
I sincerely hope this has been valuable to you. Questions? Leave a message or comment and I’ll get back to you right away.
Alzheimer’s Advocate for New Jersey