Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is dementia?
Dementia is not a specific disease but rather a general term to describe a decline in mental abilities that are severe enough to interfere with activities of daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for approximately 60-80 percent of dementia.
Q. What causes dementia?
Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells, which interfere with their ability to communicate with each other. When cells in a particular region are damaged, they cannot carryout their normal functions affecting things like memory judgment and movement. Most changes in the brain that cause dementia are permanent and worsen over time.
Q. What is the Global Deterioration Scale?
The Global Deterioration Scale (GDS), developed by Dr. Barry Reisberg, provides caregivers an overview of the stages of cognitive function for those suffering from a primary degenerative dementia such as Alzheimer's disease. It is broken down into 7 different stages. Stages 1-3 are the pre-dementia stages. Stages 4-7 are the dementia stages. Beginning in stage 5, an individual can no longer survive without assistance.

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Q. What is sundowning?
Sundowning is a dementia-related symptom that refers to increased agitation, confusion and hyperactivity that begins in the late afternoon and builds throughout the evening. Most sundowning emerges in mid-stage dementia and slowly worsens as the disease progresses.

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Q. What is incontinence?
Incontinence” is the word used to describe loss of control over when and where we go to the bathroom. Approximately 13 million Americans suffer from some form of incontinence. 85% are women.