Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia is a broad term for any medical condition that causes memory problems and problems with at least one other brain function, such as speech, concentration, or more complex thinking involving problem solving, planning and organization. Two of the most widespread forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60 percent of those with dementia, and vascular dementia which accounts for 20 percent. In 2017, 5.5 million in the U.S. were estimated to have Alzheimer’s; this number is expected to rise to 16 million by 2050.

Although there are many exciting treatment possibilities being studied, there is not currently any way to stop or reverse the symptoms in most types of dementia. But because some dementias can be the result of reversible medical conditions, the first phone call should always be to one’s primary care physician to discuss the symptoms.

Though a cure does not exist, there IS current treatment with a medication that helps injured brain cells work more efficiently, and there is a second kind of medication generally administered later in the process that can keep some healthy brain cells from dying.

Because treatments are most effective when started early, it is critical to get an early diagnosis.

We’ve gathered the following information and resources on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to help you learn more and find the support and care that you or a loved one needs.

Pine Rest Services for Dementia

  • Early Dementia Detection is Crucial to Treatment

    Early Dementia Detection is Crucial to Treatment
    We all become forgetful as we grow older, right? Wrong. Memory problems are not a normal part of aging, but it isn’t always easy to know the difference between normal changes that affect us as we age and more serious...
  • Caring for Yourself and Your Family Member

    Caring for Yourself and Your Family Member

    Family caregiving requires a balance of caring for yourself and the one that you are caring for. The article provides tips on how to manage.

  • Living Well with Dementia: How Psychologists Can Help

    Living Well with Dementia: How Psychologists Can Help

    A diagnosis of dementia can be emotionally overwhelming for the individual as well as the family. Individuals with dementia require more intensive care and assistance as the dementia worsens. Though there may not be a way to completely alleviate symptoms of dementia, maintaining sleep patterns, a healthy diet, regular exercise, cognitive stimulation and socialization can help people with dementia maintain a normal level of functioning for as long as possible.

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  • Caregiver Resource Network. A collaboration of West Michigan organizations dedicated to providing for the needs and welfare of family and professional caregivers within the community. 
  • Free Memory Screening Day. Held annually each fall. Contact: 616.222.4500