Dementia is a brain disorder involving the loss of memory and thinking abilities as well as physical functioning. As victims decline mentally, their ability to perform activities of daily living is also affected. The damage caused by dementia leads to a loss of brain tissue that cannot be replaced. Dementia is a condition that typically grows worse with time. An estimated 50% of nursing home residents suffer from some form of dementia. The most common cause is Alzheimer's disease followed by strokes. Reporting and documenting a decline in physical functioning is an important step in getting a resident the help he or she needs. It may even be the first step in preventing a potential lawsuit charging a facility with incompetence or neglect.
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