Dementia Care

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,
 dressing appropriately, washing up); forgetting how 
 to do things you’ve done many times

Able to recall and describe incidents 
 of forgetfulness

Unable to recall or describe specific instances 
 where memory loss caused problems

May pause to remember directions, 
 but doesn’t get lost in familiar places

Gets lost or disoriented even in familiar places;
 unable to follow directions

Occasional difficulty finding the right word,
 but no trouble holding a conversation

Words are frequently forgotten, misused, or garbled; repeats phrases and stories in same conversation

Judgment and decision-making ability 
 the same as always

Trouble making choices; May show poor judgment 
 or behave in socially inappropriate ways

  1. Dementia Care Specialist
  2. Support for Individuals with Dementia
  3. Support for Family Caregivers

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.

  1. Cognitive Screening
  2. The 10 Warning Signs of Dementia
  3. Resources

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.