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Cognitive Impairment

What is cognitive impairment?

Cognitive impairment refers to a person’s difficulty remembering, concentrating, learning new things, or making decisions that affect everyday life.

Some of the common signs of cognitive impairment include:

  • memory loss
  • not recognizing familiar people and places
  • frequently asking the same question or repeating stories again and again
  • vision problems
  • struggling with what to do in an emergency 
  • difficulty planning and completing tasks (e.g., paying monthly bills, following a recipe)
  • changes in mood or behavior

Cognitive impairment can range from mild to severe and typically progress in severity over time.

A person with mild cognitive impairment is generally still able to complete all their everyday activities, but they may begin noticing changes in cognitive functioning. In severe cases such as dementia, an individual may no longer be able to understand the meaning or importance of something, and they may also lose the ability to write or talk.

How does cognitive impairment affect a person?

Most mild cases of cognitive impairment have no impact on an individual’s ability to live by themselves and care for themselves. However, as cognitive impairment becomes more severe, an individual may no longer be able to live by themselves safely. In these cases, it may be necessary to seek home health care or care in a nursing home.