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Dementia

Dementia is a clinical syndrome or condition in which there is a progressive deterioration of mental faculties, usually over many years. Problems with memory are typically the first sign of dementia. Other symptoms may include difficulties with language, impaired judgment, problems in performing simple tasks such as dressing, and changes in personality and behavior. It is common for people with dementia also to develop clinical depression, agitation, or anxiety symptoms as their disease progresses. There are a number of brain disorders that can result in dementia, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease which accounts for 60 – 80 percent of dementia cases.

It is important for people to understand that dementia is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Although the risk of developing dementia increases with age, the overwhelming majority of older adults do not have dementia. Most older adults who report problems with memory do not have and may never develop dementia.

Dementia is often referred to as a “caregiver’s disease” because of the impact on family and friends. A person with dementia will need a loved one or loved ones to help with the many new challenges and stresses that, at times, may seem overwhelming and endless. 

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