As a result of the aging population dementia is a growing challenge, especially in healthcare. Nevertheless, cognitive disorders are often not systematically evaluated, especially during hospital stays for other reasons; however, cognitive impairment is associated with a number of geriatric syndromes, including falls, delirium, dysphagia and lack of adherence to treatment plans. This article considers the current state of diagnosis and treatment of dementia. Non-pharmacological therapeutic approaches as well as current and future pharmacological treatment options are discussed. The drugs of choice for the symptomatic treatment of cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson-associated dementia are cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine; there is no specific pharmacological treatment for other types of dementia. Prevention and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors can potentially retard the progression of possibly all forms of dementia.