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Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Dementia is a serious, debilitating challenge but it can be managed in ways that support the quality of life for both patient and caretaker. These articles can help you identify, understand and act constructively in the face of dementia.

Confused Senior Lady

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be frightening for you and your loved ones. It’s normal to worry about what a diagnosis of dementia means, what will happen, and how you’ll adjust. Educating yourself about Alzheimer’s and dementia can help you make important decisions early and feel more in control during this difficult time. Starting treatment right away is also important, as early intervention can prolong independence and help you continue to live life fully.

You’ll also want to work hand in hand with your family members and make sure that caregivers have the support and assistance they need.

Use this quiz to test whether a person's memory loss needs further assessment. Show the quiz >>

Memory

1. Does your loved one have memory loss?

Yes No

2. If yes, is his or her memory worse than a few years ago?

Yes No

3. Does your loved one repeat questions, statements, or stories in the same day? (2 points)

Yes No

4. Have you had to take over tracking events or appointments, or does your loved one forget appointments?

Yes No

5. Does your loved one misplace items more than once per month, or so that he or she can't find them?

Yes No

6. Does your loved one suspect others of hiding or stealing items when he or she cannot find them?

Yes No

Orientation

7. Does your loved one frequently have trouble knowing the day, date, month, year, or time, or check the date more than once a day? (2 points)

Yes No

8. Does your loved one become disoriented in unfamiliar places?

Yes No

9. Does your loved one become more confused outside the home or when traveling?

Yes No

Functional Ability (exlcuding physical limitations)

10. Does your loved one have trouble handling money (tips, calculating change)?

Yes No

11. Does your loved one have trouble paying bills or doing finances? (2 points)

Yes No

12. Does your loved one have trouble remembering to take medicines or tracking medications taken?

Yes No

13. Does your loved one have difficulty driving or are you concerned about him or her driving?

Yes No

14. Is your loved one having trouble using applicances (e.g. microwave, oven, stove, remote control, telephone, alarm clock)?

Yes No

15. Does your loved one have difficulty completing home repair or other home-related tasks, such as housekeeping?

Yes No

16. Has your loved one given up or significantly cut back on hobbies such as golf, dancing, exercise, or crafts?

Yes No

Visuospatial Ability

17. Does your loved one get lost in familiar surroundings, such as their own neighborhood? (2 points)

Yes No

18. Does he or she have a decreased sense of direction?

Yes No

Language

19. Does your loved one have trouble finding words other than names?

Yes No

20. Does your loved one confuse names of family members or friends? (2 points)

Yes No

21. Does your loved one have trouble recognizing familiar people? (2 points)

Yes No

Please answer all the questions

Score:

Interpreting the score:

  • 0 to 4: No cause for concern
  • 5 to 14: Memory loss may be MCI, an early warning of Alzheimer's
  • 15 and above: Alzheimer's may have already developed

This questionnaire is not intended to replace professional diagnosis.

Source: BMC Geriatrics

Learn about Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias

Alzheimer's Disease: Symptoms, Stages, Diagnosis, and Coping Tips

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Prevention: How to Reduce Your Risk and Protect Your Brain

Understanding Dementia: Signs, Symptoms, Types, and Treatment

Vascular Dementia: Signs, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment of Multi-Infarct and Other Types of Vascular Dementia

Secure Attachment Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care: Planning and Preparing for the Road Ahead

Secure Attachment Alzheimer's Behavior Management: Tips for Managing Common Symptoms and Problems in Dementia Patients

Lewy Body Dementia Signs, Symptoms, Treatment, and Caregivingfor Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Huntington’s Disease Symptoms, Treatment, and Hope

Pick's Disease Signs, Symptoms, and Support for Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Additionally, it takes energy and focus to successfully make major life changes. You can gain strength through regular exercise, a healthy diet, and activities that reduce stress.