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Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias

Unsafe Behaviors in Older Adults Who Likely Have Dementia

Older adults who likely have dementia but have not been given the diagnosis are more likely to engage in potentially unsafe activities, suggests research published in June 2016 inthe Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

A release from the publisher explains that among 7,609 Medicare beneficiaries, those with probable dementia were more likely to drive, prepare hot meals, manage finances, manage medications, and attend doctor visits alone if they had not received a dementia diagnosis than if they had received a diagnosis.

The release quotes lead author Dr. Halima Amjad as saying, “It’s important for physicians and families to realize that many individuals with dementia, especially undiagnosed dementia, engage in activities that are increasingly risky as the disease progresses. Addressing safety may be one area where diagnosing dementia earlier can make a difference if patients and families can plan for the future. Our findings also suggest that physicians can target older adults who have difficulty with these and other household activities for dementia screening.”

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