Dementia is an illness that impacts the brain. It can affect memory, thinking and actions. Although dementia is most common in older adults, it can happen to people of any age. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

Sixty to eighty percent of dementia cases are caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Additionally, more than 60% of caregivers for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are women.

Warning signs of dementia include:

  • Asking the same questions over again
  • Getting lost in places you know well
  • Not being able to follow directions
  • Getting confused about time, people, and places
  • Having problems with self-care, nutrition, bathing, or safety

Other conditions have similar symptoms to dementia. Women Veterans must undergo a medical evaluation to get a diagnosis. If you are experiencing symptoms, schedule an appointment with your VA provider.

After a diagnosis

VA knows that finding out you have dementia can be scary. You may feel sad or angry. Learning more about your condition can help you and your family plan for the future. In the meantime, a dementia diagnosis doesn’t mean you can’t live your life. In fact, keeping active can reduce some symptoms of dementia.

After you receive a dementia diagnosis, VA services that may be appropriate are:

  • Home-based primary care
  • Skilled home care
  • Homemaker and home-health aide
  • Home telehealth
  • Respite care

VA also offers support and services for caregivers of Veterans with dementia. VA has a support line for caregivers to ask questions and connect with a caregiver support coordinator.

Caregiver support coordinators coordinate services through VA and in the community to help caregivers of Veterans. The support line number is 1-855-260-3274.

More information on VA resources for Veterans with dementia and their caregivers is available here. We also encourage caregivers to watch our dementia caregivers video series.


The Women’s Health Office of VA is part of The Women Veterans Health Program. Created in 1988, the office streamlines services for female Veterans to provide more cost-effective medical and psychosocial care. VA Women’s Health provides programmatic and strategic support to implement positive changes in the provision of care for all women Veterans.

Veterans at home perform musical tribute to VA staff
Being able to access VA health care is very important. You can access care remotely using My HealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal. Access tools online to manage your VA care from home.Access VA Care and stay safe from COVID-19 with My HealtheVet

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4 Comments

  1. James Harp June 24, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Question:
    Does the VA have assisted living accomodations for vets?

  2. james w Pooser June 24, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Is this service available for men also?? My father died of alzhiemer disease back in the late 80’s and I am very afraid of going down that same road. If I do, I’m not sure of my actions afterwards???

    • Patricia A. Zwer June 25, 2020 at 11:28 am

      The VA has provided a lot help like listening and helping me get more organized. . It has been a lot comfort. I served stateside working in personnel. After serving 18 months as enlisted, I went to Officer Candidate School. and was discharged as a Captain.. During my service I also served at the 104th Training Division located at Vancouver, Washington.. Presently I am having memory problems and enjoying retired life like volunteering at a hospital.

  3. Bob L. Wright June 24, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    I am retired from the USAF, I served a full 37+ years, My spouse served 8 years 5 months and separated. We are now dealing with her recent diagnosis of dementia. Are we eligible for assistance?
    Bob Wright
    CMSgt (ret)

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