What is Dementia?
Dementia is an Umbrella term that is used for a variety of symptoms that are associated with a cognitive impairment. Dementia is more than just memory loss and actually affects all aspects of cognition including: functioning, judgement, attention, perception, reasoning, organization, communication, abstract thinking, orientation of time or place, ability to filter emotional responses, and awareness of socially appropriate norms.
What is the difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain diseases like Lewy Body Dementia, Vascular Dementia and Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) all fall under the umbrella of Dementia. Another way to look at it is everybody that is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease has dementia, but everybody with dementia does not necessarily have Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia vs. Normal Aging
Memory loss is not an evitable part of aging, but if you or someone you care about are exhibiting symptoms such as those listed below, it’s time to talk with someone about your concerns. The ADRC provides a service that not only helps those in crisis or those who can't manage, but also validates current experiences and can help with planning ahead and being prepared. Individuals can continue to see results from understanding the disease and being proactive in managing its impact. The ADRC is here to help!
Normal age-related memory changes
Symptoms that may indicate dementia
Able to function independently and pursue normal activities, despite occasional memory lapses
Difficulty performing simple tasks (paying bills,
Able to recall and describe incidents
Unable to recall or describe specific instances
May pause to remember directions,
Gets lost or disoriented even in familiar places;
Occasional difficulty finding the right word,
Words are frequently forgotten, misused, or garbled; repeats phrases and stories in same conversation
Judgment and decision-making ability
Trouble making choices; May show poor judgment
The Dementia Care Specialist (DCS) can help educate family members, provide support and connect caregivers to services, and problem-solve challenging situations.
The mission of the Dementia Care Specialist Program is to support people with dementia and their caregivers in order to ensure the highest quality of life possible while living at home. In order to accomplish this mission, the DCS has three main goals:
• Ensure ADRC staff and volunteers are trained and competent about dementia so customers are met with understanding and support
• Provide education and support to family members and friends who are caregivers
• Help develop Dementia-Friendly Communities where people with dementia can remain active and safe, and caregivers can feel supported
This is done through phone calls, office visits, and even home visits if necessary. Contact ADRC (262) 741-3200 to speak to the Dementia Care Specialist.
A Dementia Care Specialist can connect you to research studies that attempt to further understand the causes and possible treatments for dementia.
A Dementia Care Specialists helps facilitate and organize socialization opportunities throughout the county. These opportunities can present themselves via Memory Cafes, educational events, support groups, and other miscellaneous social activities that they may create.
Memory Cafe: Memory Cafés are informal social gatherings for those experiencing memory loss, mild cognitive impairment, early Alzheimer’s or other dementias and for their family member or care partner to join them. A Memory Café is a place to have fun, share experiences and stay socially connected. There is NO COST.
What is a Family Caregiver?
Anyone providing physical, emotional, financial or other types of assistance to a family member or friend, who has a chronic disease or other condition, requiring ongoing care and attention.
What support can be offered?
Dementia Care Specialists can help to address your current situation and plan for the future, including care plan, legal and financial planning, education and awareness of dementia progression and end of life decisions. Contact the Dementia Care Specialist at 262-741-3400.
Dementia Caregiver Support Group
Where: Immanuel Lutheran Church;700 N. Bloomfield Road, Lake Geneva, WI 53147
When: 3rd Wednesday of the month from 9:30am to 11am
Evening Dementia Caregiver Support Group
Where: Matheson Memorial Library;101 N. Wisconsin Street, Elkhorn, 53121
When: 1st Monday of the month from 4:30pm to 6:00pm
It is highly recommended for those over 60 to start tracking and measuring their cognition on a regular basis every 6 months. The Dementia Care Specialist along with many other ADRC employees are trained in order to perform a cognitive screen. A cognitive screen is a brief test used to evaluate memory, judgment, and the ability to understand visual information. These screens are not clinical, meaning they are not used in diagnosing, but are meant for showing if a possible cognitive impairment is apparent or not.
1. Memory changes that disrupt daily life
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Trouble understanding visual images
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and unable to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgement
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood or personality