March 2023 Newsletter - Dementia: The Top 5 Things You Should Know


March 2023 Newsletter

Individual living with dementia and caregiver

Dementia: The Top 5 Things You Should Know

  1. Dementia is an umbrella term. Most of the time when people hear the term ‘dementia’ they think of Alzheimer’s Disease. However, Alzheimer’s Disease is just one form of dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term for many different neurocognitive disorders, such as Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Huntington’s disease, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and many more.

  2. Dementia is about more than memory loss. Dementia is a disease of the brain, affecting much more than memory. Dementia can also cause changes and impairment to judgement, reasoning, problem solving, spatial awareness, vision, language skills, motor skills, emotional regulation, and behavior.
  1. Dementia is not the same as normal aging. While the risk for dementia does increase as we age, dementia is not a normal or inevitable part of aging. Slight lapses in memory, such as forgetting where we put our keys or forgetting what is on the shopping list, are common and part of normal aging. Dementia goes beyond these normal lapses in memory, such as regularly forgetting the names of close family members, not being able to recall common words, or forgetting where you live.

  2. You can still live a full, meaningful life with dementia. It is important to remember that a diagnosis of dementia does not mean your life is over. People living with dementia are still able to live lives full of joy and purpose. Individuals living with dementia can still maintain friendships, be creative, learn and grow, and give back to their communities.

  3. Resources are available. Caregiving for someone with dementia can be challenging; however, there are supportive services available, including the RAFT Dementia Support Program. The RAFT Dementia Support Program is a short-term program that works directly with families to provide education about dementia, strategies to help manage challenges, and connections to resources.

For more information about the RAFT Dementia Support Program, visit us online.

Older adults
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Dementia Support Program


The RAFT Dementia Support Program is a new initiative in Northern Virginia that is part of the RAFT Program. The RAFT Dementia Support Program fulfills a vital community need for individuals with dementia and their caregivers to prevent psychiatric hospitalizations, and to provide comprehensive education and planning to improve caregiver resilience while improving safety and stability in community placement. 


Anyone can make a referral to the program, using the online referral form. Or contact Sydney Palinkas at or 703-814-2701. 


7611 Little River Turnpike
Suite 200
Annandale, VA 22003

Phone: 703-531-2144
TTY: 703-228-1788