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Dementia is a loss of mental skills that affects your daily life. It is different than the occasional trouble with memory that is part of aging. You may find it hard to remember things that you feel you should be able to remember. Or you may feel that your mind is just not working as well as usual.
Finding out that you have dementia is a shock. You may be afraid and worried about how the condition will change your life. Although there is no cure at this time, medicine may slow memory loss and improve thinking for a while. Other medicines may be able to help you sleep or cope with depression and behaviour changes.
Dementia often gets worse slowly. But it can get worse quickly. As dementia gets worse, it may become harder to do common things that take planning, like making a list and going shopping. Over time, the disease may make it hard for you to take care of yourself. Some people with dementia need others to help care for them.
Dementia is different for everyone. You may be able to function well for a long time. In the early stage of the condition, you can do things at home to make life easier and safer. You also can keep doing your hobbies and other activities. Many people find comfort in planning now for their future needs.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: September 11, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Myron F. Weiner MD - Psychiatry, Neurology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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