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Introduction & Overview
Dementia is a progressive loss of memory, reasoning and cognitive functions impairing the abilities to perform normal day-to-day activities like household chores, driving and personal care like bathing, dressing and feeding, otherwise known as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) (1).
Approximately 6 million people in the US suffer from dementia. It is a common phenomenon in about 6-8% of seniors over the age of 65. More than 30% of those aged 85 or older may have dementia, however, 50% of seniors above 100 years of age do not suffer from dementia (2).
It is important to note that people suffering from dementia experience a reduction in most areas of intellectual functioning such as usage of language, numbers, orientation, judgment, reasoning ability, problem solving and ability to think abstractly impairing a person’s ability to function independently (1).
According to the Merck Manual of Geriatrics, “Dementia is one of the most common causes of institutionalization, morbidity and mortality among the elderly.” (3)
Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
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