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Forgetfulness or Dementia?

Forgetfulness or dementia? It's a question you may have thought of when you lose your keys or forgot why you entered a room.

It's also one caregivers need to keep in mind. At a presentation in Endwell Tuesday an elder services coordinator drew some distinctions.

She said there are 70 different types of dementia and that it's important to get an accurate diagnosis as to which kind it is. That's because drug therapies are specific, and can actually make conditions worse if used for dementia the drug is not meant to treat. So what are the telltale signs of dementia?

"One of the important things to look for is any change. Sometimes the changes come very slowly. They can be memory problems, short-term memory problems, they can be physical problems," said Rene Conklin, Elder Services Coordinator for the Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing.

Conklin says the earlier dementia is diagnosed the sooner caregivers can learn how to deal with the change. She advises caregivers to educate themselves as much as possible.

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