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
The Dementia Road Map: A Guide for Family and Caregivers offers guidance about what to do when a person experiences changes in memory and thinking, and offers information and tips about what to expect and steps to take if someone in your family has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Read it online in English or in Spanish. Or, order paper copies, click here for ordering instructions.
People with memory concerns, Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia and their loved ones often have questions about planning for their future. The Dementia Legal Planning Toolkit can help you make important financial and health care decisions and give you the legal forms you need. Click here to download the Dementia Legal Planning Toolkit and related resources.
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 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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Serving Whatcom and Skagit Counties
Dementia Support Northwest serves Whatcom and Skagit counties. It is a not-for-profit organization who’s mission is to help those people and their families affected by dementia with the education, support and resources to empower them.
Dementia Support Northwest provides education and support in Whatcom and Skagit Counties 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; Veterans Living with Dementia Support Groups; and the Project Lifesaver Program (a partnering with the Whatcom County Sheriff) providing electronic technology to locate those who wander.
Dementia Support Northwest also offers an annual Caregiver Conference and numerous educational seminars free to the community throughout the year.
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.
Washington’s Community Living Connections staff are available to help you explore your options to meet your current needs or create a plan for the future.
Concerned about Memory Loss for Yourself or Someone Else?
To review a questionnaire that you might take to your next health care provider visit, click on the “Download Now” link below