Understanding memory loss and care
It was estimated that 5 million adults ages 65 and older had dementia in 2014. That number is expected to be almost 14 million by 2060. Many people who have dementia haven't been diagnosed by a doctor.
Our doctors are trained in the best care practices for memory loss. Our care team is ready to give you or your loved one specialized memory loss care. We also offer caregiver support.
It's important to not be shy about memory loss care. If you're worried you or a loved one could have dementia, ask for a visit to talk about your concerns about memory or thinking.
To get started, ask your doctor for a memory loss evaluation appointment. This kind of appointment will involve some tests and a physical exam.
Dementia is a general term for memory loss that disrupts daily life. It can include problems with:
Alzheimer’s is a brain illness and the most common cause of dementia. Alzheimer's causes brain cells to die and the brain to shrink.OR
In the U.S., 6.2 million people ages 65 and older have Alzheimer's. Worldwide, 55 million people are living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.OR
There are several types of memory loss care:
- In-home care
- Long-term care centers
- Respite (a type of care that offers a break for caregivers)
Our care team is here for you to talk about memory loss care and to support you and your loved ones as you make care decisions.OR
Schedule time with our care team if you notice any signs of memory loss that disrupt daily life, such as:
- Challenges in planning or problem solving
- Confusion with time or place
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Misplacing things
- Not being able to retrace steps
It's normal to feel uncertain or nervous to talk about memory loss. But these are serious health concerns. It's important to be proactive and talk to your doctor as soon as possible.OR
Call or send a message to your doctor in MyChart and ask for an appointment to talk about memory care. At the visit, don't be shy to talk about your memory loss concerns.
When you’re ready, your doctor can connect you to our specialized memory loss care team. Our care team will talk to you about:
- Care decisions
Your care team can help as much or as little as you would like. We're here for you when you need us.OR
Our care team works together and includes you, your family or caregiver, your doctor and your doctor’s team. Our care team may also include:
- Social workers
- Specialists, such as neurologists (brain doctors) or psychiatrists (mental health doctors)
We’re ready to offer you or your loved one the care that's most helpful to you.OR
Many people have strong ideas about the care they want if they have Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. We're here to talk to you about memory loss, the types of care available and advance care planning.
An advance care plan is also called an advance directive. Most advance directives don’t deal with dementia. But dementia is the main reason people can no longer make their own care decisions.
Learn more and download an advance directive for dementia at no cost.OR
Cognitive impairment is a health problem that makes it hard to think clearly. It's often an early stage of dementia.
Once someone shows signs of cognitive impairment, it can be hard for them to fill out an advance care plan or advance directive. It's best to fill one out before cognitive impairment starts.
It's important for people ages 60 and older to have an advance directive filled out.
If you fill out an advance directive before age 60, you should review your directive as you get older. If your situation or health care wishes change over time, you should fill out a new form.OR
Hearing loss and dementia have an interesting relationship. Did you know that people with hearing loss have greater chances of getting dementia?
Learn more about our hearing services at The Everett Clinic.OR
- American Heart Association. Hearing loss and the connection to Alzheimer's disease, dementia. Accessed November 1, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About Dementia. Accessed November 1, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reducing Risk of Alzheimer's Disease. Accessed November 1, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Truth About Aging and Dementia. Accessed November 1, 2022.
- World Health Organization. Dementia. Accessed November 1, 2022.