Dementia - Topic Overview
Dementia is a loss of mental skills that affects your daily life. It can cause problems with your memory and how well you can think and plan.
Alzheimer's Disease Stages
WebMD explains what the stages of Alzheimer's disease are and what to expect during each stage.
How Alzheimer's Progresses
Learn the symptoms of someone with Alzheimer's who is in the moderate and severe stages of the disease.
WebMD explains the causes, symptoms, and treatment of sundowning, a syndrome in which Alzheimer's patients experience confusion and agitation when the sun goes down.
Managing Complications of Alzheimer's Disease
Find out how to manage complications that your loved one with Alzheimer's may face.
Dementia: Support for Caregivers - Topic Overview
Taking care of a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can be a difficult, stressful, and tiring job. It affects the caregiver's health and ability to rest and can be a source of stress and conflict for the entire household.The demands of caring for a person who has dementia may cut off caregivers from friends, leisure activities, and other responsibilities. For a caregiver who has health problems, the physical and emotional strain of caregiving can make those problems worse. Fatigue, depression, and sleep problems commonly develop, and caregivers often carry an added emotional burden of feeling worried, guilty, and angry about taking care of the person.If you are a caregiver, you can benefit by learning as much as you can and taking care of yourself.Educate yourself Learn all you can about the type of dementia your loved one has and what the future may bring. Organizations such as the Alzheimer's Association and the Family Caregiver Alliance can provide
Dementia: Legal Issues - Topic Overview
A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or another dementia often raises some important legal and financial issues for the future. The person with dementia should be involved in these decisions as long as he or she is able and willing to be involved.Obtain professional legal advice as soon as possible. Early in the course of the disease, the person with dementia may be capable of participating in legal and financial planning. State and local bar associations will be able to provide the names of attorneys practicing in your area who deal with these issues.For certain types of legal advice, the Legal Aid Society, the local Area Agency on Aging, or the Alzheimer's Association will be able to help you find legal assistance at low cost.As soon as possible after the condition is diagnosed, talk about writing a living will and assigning a durable power of attorney for health care. These documents will ensure that the person's wishes for medical care, especially life-sustaining treatment, are in
Warning Signs of Dementia - Topic Overview
Certain problems can be warning signs of dementia. Talk to a doctor if you, a friend, or a family member has been having increased difficulty with any of the following activities: Learning and retaining new information (forgetting recent events and appointments or frequently misplacing objects)Handling complex tasks, like balancing a checkbookKnowing what to do when problems come up (such as knowing what to do if the bathroom is flooded) and using good judgment (for example, showing a new disregard for the rules of social conduct and doing or saying things that are inappropriate)Finding his or her way around familiar places, driving to and from places he or she knows well (for example, getting lost when walking or driving from the house to the store a few blocks away)Finding the right words to say what he or she wants to sayUnderstanding and responding to what he or she sees and hearsActing more irritable or suspicious than usual, or withdrawing from conversation and activityA person
Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia - Topic Overview
Some people have memory loss but do not have dementia. They have what is known as mild cognitive impairment, a middle ground between normal aging and dementia. People with this condition are at risk for developing dementia; but not all people with mild cognitive impairment will progress to dementia.People with mild cognitive impairment often know that they have lost memory, and tests can confirm some loss. But they have normal overall mental functioning and can carry out normal activities of daily living.Doctors should evaluate people with memory loss, and those with mild cognitive impairment should be monitored because of their risk for developing dementia. Several studies are being done to see whether medicine can delay dementia in people who have mild cognitive impairment.
Memory Problems: Tips for Helping the Person With Daily Tasks - Topic Overview
The following suggestions may help you develop a plan to help a family member who has an ongoing problem with memory,problem solving,judgment,or the ability to handle daily tasks. These suggestions are basic and do not include all the information you will need to care for your family member. Your doctor may have other suggestions to add to your plan. Establish a simple daily routine. Set ...