Dementia

Dementia disorders are the most common mental health problem affecting Canadian seniors. Dementia involves loss of memory and cognitive abilities and almost always affects judgment, decision-making and relationships. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common dementia disorder. Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewi Bodies, and frontotemperal dementia.

Signs and Symptoms

In addition to problems with memory and cognitive abilities, many people with dementia also experience a variety of disturbances in their behaviour such as the following:
  • Psychosis (hallucinations and delusions)
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Wandering
  • Aggression
  • Noisiness

Causes / Physiology

The risk of dementia increases with age. There are different types of dementia, each with a different presumed cause. Vascular dementia, for example, may be caused by strokes.

Treatments

Although no cure exists for dementia and no medication will stop or reverse its progression, treatments work to improve the quality of life for people living with this disease. Some medications can help slow the progression of symptoms such as memory loss and language difficulties. Strategies such as exercise and vitamin use can help those with dementia manage symptoms.

For more information visit:

Alzheimer Society of Canada: www.alzheimer.ca/en
Alzheimer Society Ontario: www.alzheimer.ca/en/on
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario: www.ontario.cmha.ca
DementiaGuide Inc.: www.dementiaguide.com