There are still a lot of things we don’t understand about mild cognitive impairment, and sometimes even the experts don’t have good answers.
But never underestimate the ingenuity of people with mild cognitive impairment. That doesn’t stop them. They go out and they find their own answers.
I admire that so much, and I really want to make more of an effort this year to share stories like that with you.
Stories of people like Randy. He has issues with cognition, including problems with balance, but he’s found a way to address that, and boy has it put a bounce in his step. So today, let’s talk about what I have learned from Randy.
Hi, I’m Tony Dearing of GoCogno.com, the website for people with mild cognitive impairment.
I always enjoy hearing from the people who watch these videos, and I was very glad recently to hear from Randy.
Just a few weeks ago, I did a piece on balance problems, which are actually very common for people with MCI. I talked about some of the reasons why, but I also had to say experts really haven’t found good ways to address this.
I did shared a few resources and suggestions, but I didn’t feel I had offered any really satisfying solution, and I didn’t even know if there was one. Until Randy sprang into the picture. Literally.
The same day my video ran, he hopped on GoCogno.com and posted a comment letting me know what’s working for him. He bought a trampoline and every day he jumps on it for five or 10 minutes. He says it’s making his legs stronger and improving his balance.
And I just loved that suggestion. It’s so clever. And it working for him.
I’m always careful to protect the anonymity of people I have dealings with, but this video of Randy was shot by his wife from behind and that’s him at his home in Texas, getting his work out in. And you know what, it just plain looks like fun.
Randy is a really interesting guy. He worked as a commercial banker and then, in mid-life, he went back to school, changed careers and became a registered nurse. He says that retraining was very cognitively beneficial at the time. “That was the best thing to reawaken my brain again,” he says. “I could tell it challenged my brain and it was good for me.”
But he’s 77 and retired now, and experiencing cognitive challenges. He talked openly to me about his impairments with memory, and his difficulties learning new things, and his problems with balance.
But he’s working on it. He’s fighting to defend his cognition, and just figuring things out for himself along the way. He told me: “I just want to solve it all myself and do the best job I can do with it.”
So when he wanted to address his balance problems, he thought he’d try a trampoline.
“I jump on it, and as far as balance and memory and coordination, I think it’s superb, he says. “I do side straddle hops, one foot forward and other one back, I raise my hands.”
I love stories like this that demonstrate the ingenuity and resolve of people who are determined to defend their cognition.
I’m always looking to remind you that it is possible to slow, halt or reverse mild cognitive impairment, and there are people out there achieving that. More than you might realize.
Now this is something that’s Randy has found is working for him. And it looks like he’s having fun doing it. I can’t say if it’s the answer for you, or if you should even consider trying it. But I really appreciate Randy sharing it. Because people with MCI can inspire each other and encourage each other. Maybe you try this, or maybe you try something else you’re inspired to do.
If you do, tell me about it. I’d love to hear from you. Maybe I can share your ingenuity, too. I hope to see you again next week. Until then, as always, be kind to your mind.