Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily life. Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia and causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s usually develop slowly, worsen over time, and hinder daily tasks. Read more about Alzheimer’s disease.
Other forms of dementia include vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, Pick’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Learn more about other types of dementia and risk factors.
For a listing of resources that match your individual situation, use the Community Resource Finder on the right.The Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is a voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. In addition to sponsoring local chapters across the United States, it has a professionally staffed 24/7 Helpline (1.800.272.3900) that offers advice to callers and provides translation services in more than 170 languages. They also sponsor support groups through their local chapters and connect people across the globe through online message boards. Additional services can be found on the Alzheimer’s Association website and through the local chapters.
Local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association educate and support people living with memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s and their family and caregivers. Your local chapter provides programs and services across Washington State and Northern Idaho.
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Since 1983, the Alzheimer Society of Washington has served Whatcom County. It is a not-for-profit organization of volunteers, family and friends of persons affected by Alzheimer's disease and other dementing illnesses. Its mission is to educate people about dementia-related diseases.
The Alzheimer’s Society provides education and support in Whatcom County as follows: Care Partner Support Groups for adults caring for those affected by dementia, including a unique group that also supports the caregiver and the person with memory loss; Staying Connected Memory Support Groups for adults newly diagnosed or experiencing minimal memory loss; Adult Children Support Groups for those adults caring for a parent affected by dementia; a nine-week educational Early Memory Loss Classes for both the caregiver and those affected by early memory loss; and the Find Me Safe Network (a partnering with the Whatcom County Sheriff) providing electronic technology to locate those who wander.
The University of Washington Alzheimer's Disease Research Center investigates the basic mechanisms causing the development of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. It directs particular attention to biomarkers, experimental new treatments, and studies that search for genetic risk factors underlying Alzheimer's disease. Its main priorities are to find the causes of Alzheimer’s and to identify effective treatments and prevention strategies for this tragic disorder. The ultimate goal of its basic and clinical studies is to improve patient care and functioning, as well as to improve the quality of life for both patients and caregivers. It is supported by the National Institute on Aging.
The UW ADRC is open to all members of the public for participation in research.
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