Dementia is a widely used term to describe an acquired loss of memory and cognitive abilities in a previously healthy or normal individual. Dementia can affect a person’s ability to think, create, perceive and react to his or her surroundings. Most cases of dementia are linked to increasing age. In fact, one-third to one-half of persons over the age of 85 are affected.
With the growth of the aging population in the United States, the development of dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease becomes more prevalent. Dealing with the rising incidence is a social and ethical issue that requires much attention; not only by medical and nursing professionals, but by society in general. The management and care of persons affected must be carefully considered and planned.