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The Grey Zone: What It Is, And How To Deal With It

Gray Zone

The “grey zone” is a time period referring to when someone affected by forms of dementia might be between being considered as competent and incompetent. Forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other mixed dementias cause a cognitive decline in those affected, thus eventually making the affected person incompetent at making proper decisions.  

While this is a natural part of the disease's progression, it may begin much earlier than you would think, making it extremely important for you to keep an eye on your loved ones. When a person is in the “grey zone”, they may seem perfectly fine socially, but they may still be affected by their impaired cognitive function.

The “grey zone” is, in fact, a medically recognized mild cognitive issue, coining it with the name “mild cognitive impairment” (MCI). When MCI was first discovered, it was not believed to necessarily be associated with forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s, but with modern advances in medicine, researchers have found that MCI doesn't necessarily become Alzheimer's, but it potentially can.

In today’s post, we are going to talk a little bit about MCI and how the “grey zone” affects people.

How Does MCI Affect People?

Mild cognitive impairment can affect different people in different ways, with the most common effect being that of slight memory loss. Typically, someone with MCI won't exhibit any of the more serious symptoms that someone with Alzheimer’s would, but it is not uncommon for the early symptoms to be similar. Because of this, it is not medically clear if MCI is an early phase of Alzheimer’s or a completely distinct disorder from Alzheimer’s.

Someone with MCI might exhibit symptoms of memory loss by doing things like forgetting names of people that they have recently met, frequently misplacing their belongings, or even having difficulty maintaining the normal flow of a conversation. When you or a loved one starts to exhibit signs of MCI, it is important to seek a medical professional.

Since MCI has not been either associated or ruled out as an early stage of Alzheimer’s, it is important to consult with a medical professional immediately. Doctors will often conduct an extremely in-depth test on the affected person's memory issues and symptoms in order to determine if the patient is suffering from early progressions of Alzheimer's. It is extremely important to get checked out by a doctor when you or someone you love exhibits MCI symptoms, but even if the doctor says that it isn't Alzheimer’s, it can potentially still become Alzheimer’s in future years.

Currently, since MCI is still a relatively unknown cognitive impairment, there is no medicine to aid those affected by the mild disorder. While there are not any specific drugs for MCI, it may be beneficial to see a medical professional so that they may have the opportunity to see if other medicines may positively affect the symptoms of those affected by MCI.

So Why Are We Talking About MCI?

While yes, this is a little outside the scope of diseases that we have discussed in our HomeCARE furniture by ComforTek blog, we still think of it as an important topic. While our main topics are for diseases like Parkinson’s, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s that often cause mobility issues to those affected, we see it as an extremely important way to always be one step ahead of debilitating disease and old age.

Carefully vetting yourself or the ones you love for MCI can potentially help you in the future in ways such as seeing symptoms of a disease before it comes, rather than after you have missed your opportunity to mentally prepare for or prevent the disease. If you or a loved one is ever diagnosed with MCI, it is important to begin your research, because even though it doesn't mean that you will indefinitely develop Alzheimer's, it is still a possibility. After being diagnosed with MCI one should research Alzheimer’s caregivers, Alzheimer’s care facilities, in-home assisted living and Alzheimer’s medical professionals in the event that you may need quick access to the information in the future.

While preparing for Alzheimer’s may seem premature after an MCI diagnosis since the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s is not known, it is still important to be prepared. In the same way, there are ways to prepare for Alzheimer’s after you have been diagnosed as well. We have a plethora of existing blogs speaking to how to better prepare for the debilitating disease, but one way that we recommend preparing is making your house easier to move around in.

Being Prepared With HomeCARE by ComforTek

At HomeCARE Furniture by Comfortek, we firmly believe in being prepared for both old age and disease. One of the hardest parts of both old age and disease is mobility loss, with people often being restricted to care facilities or intense in-home care regimens. It is our goal at HomeCARE furniture by ComforTek to help people remain somewhat independent and mobile with our mobility chairs.

We think mobility is a huge part of living your golden years well. So be prepared, and check out some of our mobility chairs today to see if they could help you. Our upholstered dining room chairs with casters are an excellent way to combat mobility loss in your kitchen or dining room, providing the user with the comfort of bariatric support, as well as the function of mobility.

If you have any questions about our mobility chairs or mobility equipment for the elderly, be sure to contact us today. And remember, it’s always better to be a step ahead.

Testimonials

Read what our happy customers have to say

This chair has saved my back by making it easy to transfer my physically disabled husband to the dining room table for dinner.

Jeanne

A GREAT help for my husband and me. My husband is now safe sitting down and I can reposition him with ease.

Annette

The table continues to enable these residents to self-feed and has been a real boost to their independence and confidence. We look forward to having at least one of these tables in each of our 11 dining rooms.

Seniors Complex Care Facility

Purchased a ComforTek chair for my sister who has Parkinson’s. That chair is the ONE PIECE of furniture that kept her out of a nursing home.

Dan H.

This chair has been a life-saver. We actually have four of the Titan Swivel-Royal EZ chairs. My husband has progressive Parkinson’s and needs 24-hour assistance. The chair has been life-altering. I have recommended this chair to so many people who are afflicted in the same way he is.

Rose L.

My 32-year-old daughter is physically and mentally disabled, and she isn’t able to pull herself up to the kitchen table once she sits down. Before we got this chair it was getting to be quite a challenge physically for me to push her up close to the table once she sat down. I’m 61 and pushing over 120 pounds of dead weight isn’t easy

Sandy P.

I just wanted to write to tell you how great the Butterfly tables are! They are so versatile. Their maneuverability makes it easy to fit everyone in our dining rooms, and allow the residents to dine with dignity. No longer are shorter residents sitting with the table within inches of their
chin, and taller residents eating from their laps! When the state surveyors were in our building they LOVED these tables!.

Julie S.

Anyway, I sat down on my new ComforTek chair and it felt strong, supportive, soft comfy seat. The wheels rolled across my tile with no noise, I feel safe for once….I have severe Ostio Arthritus, a torn and frayed meniscus and A.C.L. I can’t say enough about this chair

Verra M.

…..this chair is just mind blowing! Dining room chair transfers is like 50% of what homecare OTs/PTs do

Simon Levin, OT
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