Rather than a disease, dementia is a general term used to describe a collection of symptoms, including memory loss, personality changes and impaired reasoning. Generally, at least two symptoms must be present for a dementia diagnosis. Often people think of these symptoms as normal signs of aging, but they are not. In fact, symptoms can be so severe that they affect daily living, personal safety and how the individual relates to others.
Alzheimer’s is one form of dementia and, perhaps, the one that most people recognize. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common, affecting more than 5 million Americans age 65 and older, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Often, the exact cause is unknown, although family history and age are often considered factors that increase your risk.
Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Memory loss that affects daily living
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Problems with language
- Disorientation of time and place
- Poor or impaired judgment
- Problems with abstract thinking
- Changes in mood, behavior or personality
- Loss of initiative
Let us help
For an initial screening, call the HelpLine at 260-471-9440 or 800-284-8439, anytime 24 hours a day. Experienced specialists are available to guide you to the appropriate level of care or resources.