Dementia is a collective term used to describe neurodegenerative disorders of the brain that affect cognition. It is estimated that over 55 million people around the world have dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia (60-80% of cases) and affects 6.7 million Americans. It commonly occurs in older adults and the prevalence of dementia increases with age, but it can also occur in younger adults.
In people with dementia, the impairment in cognition is different from the memory problems associated with normal aging. Dementia can impair their ability to take care of themselves and their daily affairs. As the disease progresses, they can have behavior problems, including depression, anxiety, personality changes, delusions, hallucinations, and agitation. They may find it difficult to cope with new situations and surroundings. Safety may become a concern if they tend to fall more, get lost, or make mistakes while driving.