Dementia 101: What families need to know

Four signs to watch for with dementia cases

Former teen heartthrob David Cassidy shared his battle with dementia on Wednesday's Dr. Phil show on WKYC Channel 3.

He revealed details about his struggle after a video went viral that appeared to some that he was drunk.

Dementia is not a single disease; it's an overall term, like heart disease, that covers a wide range of medical conditions, including Alzheimer's disease.

Dementia is caused by abnormal brain changes. These changes trigger a decline in thinking skills, severe enough to impair daily life and independent function. Symptoms may include changes in personality, disorientation, confusion, visual spatial issues, staggering and stumbling, lack of coordination and changes in speech patterns. 

Symptoms are often confused as intoxication, mental illness, low blood sugar or dehydration.

Four warning signs that may indicate it's time for a medical evaluation include:
* Changes in Personality
* Lack of Judgment and Reasoning
* Language Changes
* Untypical or Bizarre Behaviors

Back in October, I demonstrated the Virtual Dementia Tour at Arden Courts Memory Care Community.  Because of our story, Arden Courts is now offering the VDT for free for families who may be struggling with various types of dementia. 

To schedule an appointment to go through the experience at any of their four locations in Chagrin Falls, Parma, Westlake or Bath, call 888-478-2410. 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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