Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Delta Specialty Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Delta Specialty Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Dementia Signs, Symptoms & Effects

Delta Specialty Hospital helps individuals struggling with a mental health disorder build a strong foundation for long-term recovery. Serving Memphis, TN, Delta is the leading provider of mental health treatment.

Understanding Dementia

Learn about dementia

Everyone forgets things now and then, especially when under stress or when we have numerous overlapping obligations. It is also normal for us to become more forgetful as we age. Some degree of mild memory loss in seniors that is not severe enough to affect their daily functioning is not abnormal and does not, in and of itself, indicate that someone has dementia. While many people associate dementia with memory problems, this is only one of a collection of symptoms that fall under this diagnostic category. This term isn’t an actual diagnosis, but refers to a collective term for such symptoms as memory, communication, and thought related symptoms resulting from an underlying disease or disorder. The most recognized type of disorder that results in the symptoms of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.

Prior to the research that resulted in our current understanding of dementia, it was assumed that memory loss was just a standard part of getting old. It was accepted that while different people experienced a different severity of symptoms, everyone developed some degree of these difficulties in old age. Those with severe symptoms were frequently referred to as “senile,” and the word “senility” was an established term in our lexicon. With advances in medicine and health-related research, it was recognized that while some mild cognitive decline, such as slightly poorer short-term memory, may be normal in aging, the symptoms that define what we now refer to as dementia are  not a standard part of the aging process.

Dementia refers to a collection of symptoms including memory loss, personality changes, mood changes, and problems with communication and reasoning. The symptoms of dementia are caused by damage to the brain that results from specific diseases or conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and chronic small strokes or other conditions that damage blood vessels and lead to decreased blood flow and oxygen supplied to the brain (vascular dementia).

Dementia is a chronic disorder, meaning it will get worse over time. However, the specific symptoms and progression of these symptoms depend on the underlying condition and individual differences. Each person who has dementia experiences the symptoms somewhat differently and the ultimate severity of symptoms is dependent on numerous factors both related to the individual and the environment. It is not unusual that family and friends may be more concerned with the symptoms than the individual themselves.


Dementia statistics

The most recent census data indicated that over 4.7 million people in the U.S. over the age of 64 had Alzheimer’s disease. This translates into over a tenth of those in this age group. This data also showed that rates increase significantly with age, until reaching numbers that show that a third of those in the U.S. over the age of 84 have Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for the largest group of those with dementia symptoms, with between 60% and 80% of all cases of dementia resulting from this cause, while vascular dementia caused by stroke accounts for the second largest number of individuals with symptoms of dementia.

Co-occurring Disorders

Dementia and co-occurring disorders

There are various psychiatric and medical disorders that co-occur with the symptoms of dementia. These include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Delirium
  • Psychosis
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Congestive heart failure

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors of dementia

There are a number of conditions that lead to the symptoms of dementia.  These include:

Alzheimer’s disease – People most often first develop this disease after the age of 60. However, in certain individuals the symptoms of dementia caused by this disease may develop earlier. Early onset forms of Alzheimer’s have been linked to a faulty gene, while the causes of the disease in older individuals are less clear. A definitive diagnosis of the disorder can’t be made until after death, as the characteristic signs of the disorder in the brain cannot be seen using current technology, and can only be seen upon physical examination. The brains of many Alzheimer’s patients have been found to contain what are referred to as plaques and fibrous tangles, which are types of abnormal clusters of proteins. It has yet to be determined how or if these protein clusters lead to the symptoms of dementia in individuals with Alzheimer’s diseases.

Lewy Body Dementia – Similar to Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia is caused by an abnormal mass of proteins. This type of dementia accounts for about 10% to 22% of people with the condition. The symptoms of Lewy body dementia are similar to Alzheimer’s except they are more likely to alternate between periods of lucidity with dementia. Additionally, individuals with this type of dementia experience REM sleep disorders, including the tendency to act out their dreams in their sleep.

Vascular Dementia – Vascular dementia is caused by death of neurons and other cells within the brain, due to decreased or cut off blood flow to the brain, which deprives it of oxygen. The symptoms of this type of dementia may also result from strokes leading to damaged blood vessels, infections of heart valves, or other conditions. This type of dementia is frequently the result of high blood pressure and often occurs in those with a history or heart attacks or strokes.  The onset of vascular dementia is usually sudden and like other types of dementia, the course is progressive.

Frontotemporal Dementia -This type of dementia is not as common as the dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, or vascular dementia. It also is different from these types as it often occurs at a significantly younger age, with it not being unusual for symptom onset to occur between the ages of 40 and 65. Dementia symptoms in these cases are the result of a collection of diseases, all of which involve nerve cell destruction specifically in the temporal lobes of the brain. As these brain areas are connected to personality, behavioral responses, and language, when cells in these lobes begin to die, the classic symptoms of dementia result.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of dementia

The symptoms of dementia can vary widely depending on the cause of the symptoms and individual and environmental factors. While memory loss is the first and most prominent symptom, the individual must have two or more symptoms for the diagnosis to be given. These include:

  • Short and long term memory loss
  • Communication and language problems
  • Inability to focus, concentrate, or pay attention
  • Troubling problem solving and planning
  • Decreased ability to reasoning
  • Poor judgment
  • Decreased visual-perceptual skills


Effects of dementia

While there are numerous effects resulting from the symptoms of dementia, like other areas related to these conditions, the specific effects a person may experience depend on the underlying disease, individual, and environmental influences. Some of the more common effects of dementia include:

  • Loss of early abilities
  • Lack of an adequate support network
  • Abuse by an overstressed caregiver
  • Abuse of a caregiver when the individual becomes stressed and confused
  • Increased infections anywhere in the body
  • Loss of ability to function or care for self
  • Loss of ability to interact with others
  • Regression to an earlier time
  • Inability to encode and store new memories
  • Anger due to the absence of childhood possessions no longer owned
  • Complex grief experienced from re-experiencing the loss of significant others due to forgetting the deaths
  • Decreased lifespan
  • Side effects of medications used to treat the disorder

The staff treatment and medication that I got from Delta Specialty Hospital helped my dementia a lot. I am so grateful to have gone there and would recommend anyone who is dealing with dementia.

– Former Patient
Trusted Excellence
  • Memphis Chamber of Commerce
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Professional Network on Aging
  • Tennessee Hospital Association
  • Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation