Dementia is the decline in mental capacity that effects the ability of a healthy individual in regards to activities of daily living and social relationships. Some cognitive decline in aging is normal, however Dementia is not a part of normal aging. There are multiple forms of dementia all with their own course of onset and decline. Each individual’s experience is unique to them and their loved ones.
Forms of Dementia
Dementia is the umbrella name for memory loss and mental impairment that can occur as we age. There are specific types of dementia:
- Alzheimer’s Disease: most common, accounts for about 60%-80% of cases
- Vascular Dementia: 2nd most common type, occurs post stroke
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Huntington’s Disease
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Korsakoff’s Syndrome: alcohol related dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Mixed Dementia: having more than one type of the dementia simultaneously
Depression in Later Life
Depression can occur in later life as a result of trying to manage the shift in lifestyle, circumstances, and daily routines that change with age. There are multiple forms of depression, and each can impact a person’s social functioning, physical health, and mental health. Depression can affect a person’s: sleep, interests, energy, concentration, and appetite. In older adults it is common to experience depression after a change in health. For instance it is not uncommon to have post-stroke depression, as a person is dealing with a slow recovery, long rehab stay, and a higher risk of other health related complications.