As the number of older Americans grows, the prevalence of dementia is increasing. Older patients who present to primary care offices often have some form of dementia, but various factors can cause the diagnosis to be missed or delayed. Physicians can work to proactively assess dementia in their patients and provide a timely diagnosis. The diagnostic process for dementia includes screening for pathology and, when indicated, conducting a cognitive evaluation and performing a differential diagnosis. Several brief but reliable tools are available to aid in screening and evaluating patients for dementia.