(888) 39-MERCY
Wisconsin & Illinois

Memory Care

Dementia is the progressive loss of memory and various other mental functions, including the ability to learn, reason, and judge. This loss of mental functioning impairs an individual’s social functioning, and most people with dementia are eventually unable to care for themselves.

Causes of dementia

  • Alzheimer’s disease (the most common cause)
  • AIDS
  • Alcoholism
  • Brain damage after multiple small strokes (so-called vascular dementia)
  • Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Lewy body disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pick’s disease
  • Toxic levels of aluminum (as can sometimes occur in dialysis patients)
  • Untreated syphilis
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

Risk factors for dementia

  • Advancing age
  • Apolipoprotein E status (a genetic risk)
  • Family members with dementing illness
  • Down syndrome
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Multiple strokes

Signs of dementia

Symptoms of dementia generally come on gradually, often begin mildly, and progress over time. Symptoms vary according to the cause of the dementia, but often include increasing trouble remembering things, such as:

  • How to get to familiar locations
  • The names of friends or family members
  • Where common objects are usually kept
  • Simple math
  • How to perform usual tasks, such as cooking, dressing, bathing, etc.
  • How to drive
  • Bill-paying

Many times individuals and their families start noticing different behaviors, like:

  • Trouble concentrating on tasks
  • Trouble completing sentences, due to lost or forgotten words (this may progress to complete inability to speak)
  • Inability to remember the date, time of day, or season
  • Getting lost in familiar surroundings
  • Mood swings
  • Withdrawal and loss of interest in usual activities
  • Personality changes
  • Slow, shuffling walk
  • Poor coordination
  • Slowness and then loss of purposeful movement

Mercyhealth offers comprehensive memory care services at several locations. To learn more, browse the Related Locations menu.

Memory Care Providers

Memory Care Locations