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Dementia Guide

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Dementia is the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decision that interferes with daily life. Symptoms can vary widely from person to person. Most common symptoms are problems with memory, attention, reasoning and vision beyond typical age-related changes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. 

Though dementia mostly affects older adults, it is not a part of normal aging. Nearly 14 million people will have dementia by 2060. 

Learn more about dementia.

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Dementia treatment depends on the cause. Conditions like Alzheimer’s disease have no cure. However, there are medications that can protect the brain or manage anxiety or behavior changes. Regular exercise and healthy eating can decrease the chances of developing chronic conditions.

If you believe a loved one is showing signs of dementia, follow these tips:

  • Discuss with your loved one. Encourage your loved one to see their primary care doctor.
  • Medical assessment. Ask your loved one’s provider to conduct an annual wellness exam.
  • Family meeting. Start planning and gather documents like an advanced directive and durable power of attorney.

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Sunshine Health has benefits and services that can assist you and your loved one:Assessment Services:

  • Assistive Care Services: These are 24-hour services if you live in an adult family care home.
  • Case Management: a voluntary program for care coordination needs and support with the management of your condition.
  • Skilled Nursing: Medical care or skilled nursing care that you get while you are in a nursing facility. This can be a short-term or long- term rehabilitation stay.
  • Home Health Nursing/Aid Services: Services to help with daily living when there is a skilled need in the home.
  • Occupational Therapy: Treatments that help you do things in your daily life, like writing, feeding yourself and using items around the house.

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  • Alzheimer’s Association: The Alzheimer’s Association provides Alzheimer’s care, support and advocacy for those with dementia and their caregivers.
  • UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program: This resources has educational videos created by the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program that cover sundowning, wandering, bathing, repetition, hallucinations and refusal to take medications.
  • The Family Caregiver Alliance put together a fact sheet to help caregivers understand behaviors typical of those living with dementia.
  • Krames Staywell Health Library: Easy access to more than 4,000 health sheets on health and medications. Search for ‘Dementia’ for information and tips on how to manage this condition.
  • Sunshine Health Community Resource Database: Find more free resources through Sunshine Health’s Community Resource Database. Enter your ZIP code to search for help with food, shelter, healthcare, money, school, jobs and more.

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Contact Sunshine Health Member Services at 1-866-796-0530 (TTY 1-800-955-8770) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern.