Dementia is the loss of intellectual functions, such as thinking, remembering and reasoning, of sufficient severity to interfere with a person's daily functioning. It is not a disease in itself, but rather a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or physical conditions. Some of the better known diseases that produce dementia include Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease.
Relief for the caregiver becomes essential when individuals with dementia are unable to care for themselves. Services are available that offer information, support and respite care.
See also Adult Day Programs and Residential Care for People with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias.