Cognition is our ability to interact with the world around us. It includes functions such as:
- learning and memory - our ability to remember conversations and events or learn new information
- language - reading, writing, speaking and understanding
- visual and spatial function – how we navigate around our environment
- executive function - how we make decisions, solve problems and organize our life
- social function - how we interact appropriately with our family, friends, and colleagues
If certain areas of the brain become damaged, one or more of these cognitive functions may be weakened. When cognitive function is weakened to the point that it impairs a person’s ability to function independently day-to-day, then they have developed dementia.
Learn the answers to the following questions:
What is dementia?
What is cognition and why does it matter?
What are the most common causes of dementia?
What are other causes of dementia-like symptoms?
How is dementia treated?
Here are some other resources about this topic that you may find helpful after completing this lesson.
Alzheimer's, Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment: An Overview
This 20-minute video features a neuropsychologist from Washington State University, giving an overview of dementia and mild cognitive impairment including diagnosis of, tests for, impact on cognition and red flags for what may not be normal aging.Watch Video
A Handbook for Care
This comprehensive handbook for caregivers provides an overview of dementia and guidance for how to care for someone with dementia and also how to care for one's self.Download PDF
The Stages of Dementia
In this 45-minute video our experts review the early, middle and lates stages of dementia as well as the global deterioration scale or GDS.Watch Video
10 Tips When Visiting Someone with Dementia
10 tips that may help to ensure a more successful visit for you and the person with dementia from Sinai Health System.Download PDF
10 Tips When Talking with Someone with Dementia
10 tips to help you to communicate clearly with a person with dementia from Sinai Health System.Download PDF
Delirium and Confusion in the Hospital
In this 45-minute video, our experts discuss what delirium is and how it can impact a person with dementia, the signs and symptoms and what caregivers can do to help persons with dementia who develop delirium in the hospital.Watch Video
How is Dementia Diagnosed?
In this 50-minute video our experts discuss how to best prepare to discuss your concerns with a family doctor and what tests may be required to confirm a diagnosis.Watch Video
Dementia Fact Sheets for Indigenous People
Explore culturally safe factsheets developed by I-Caare and Indigenous people living with memory loss and their caregivers.View Resource
Risk of Falls in Dementia
In this 45-minute video, our experts discuss how cognitive impairment and dementia increase the risk of falls and strategies to implement to increase fall prevention.Watch Video
Alzheimer Society Canada Directory
The Alzheimer Society offers programs and services for people living with dementia all across Canada. Use this directory to find help near you.View Resource
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