Alzheimer's Associations & Dementia Care
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of symptoms created by abnormal changes in the brain. Dementia is a condition that is generally progressive, however, some causes of dementia are treatable or reversible. In these circumstances, symptoms of dementia may be attributed to other medical conditions such as kidney failure, depression, stress, medication side effects or medication interactions, infections, strokes or tumors.
Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process, but the result of a disease or other physical damage to brain cells. The symptoms of dementia vary from person to person, but generally involve changes severe enough to affect a person’s daily life in at least some of these areas: cognition (memory, thinking, language), behavior (mood, personality, social skills), and physical functioning (motor skills, incontinence, visual changes). There are many different causes of progressive dementia. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common and accounts for 70% of all diagnosed dementia. If someone has AD he is experiencing dementia, but if someone has dementia, the cause may or may not be AD. An estimated 5.5 million Americans are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease today (Alzheimer’s Association, 2017 Facts & Figures Report) Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder that destroys cells in the brain. It is the leading cause of dementia, a condition that involves gradual memory loss, decline in the ability to perform routine tasks, disorientation, difficulty in learning, loss of language skills, impairment of judgment, and personality changes. As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s become unable to care for themselves. If you are caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease, you are not alone – in 2017, over 15,000,000 Americans provided unpaid care to someone suffering from this disorder.