Marty Finley, M-Ed
Memory Care Navigator
Dementia is an umbrella term that describes memory dysfunction and a decline in intellectual abilities, which are significant enough to disrupt daily living. It could be a decline in judgment, reasoning, problem-solving or more. There are more then 70 different types of dementia with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common. In fact, it accounts for approximately 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.
Dementia is more than just memory loss. As we age, it may take us longer to retrieve information we have stored in our memory. With dementia, this happens frequently enough to impact daily tasks such as the ability to keep appointments, manage bills or bank accounts, or to take medication correctly. A person with dementia may have personality changes and become more withdrawn or less social than they used to be.
If you notice these changes and disruptions in your cognitive ability or those of a loved one, consult with your physician to determine the cause and whether a treatment can delay or prevent the progression of dementia.
Marty Finley, MEd, is a navigator for the Sun Health Memory Care Navigator Program, a free service, which helps patients and their loved ones navigate the daunting challenges brought on by dementia. For more information, call 623-832-9300 or visit www.sunhealthwellbeing.org/memory-care.
(Originally published June 28, 2017; last updated Jan. 12, 2019.)