What Is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s?
Approximately 50 million people globally are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. For those who may not be aware, dementia and Alzheimer’s are not the same. While they both are characterized by similar symptoms, there are many differences that are important to be cognizant of. In this blog, we will discuss the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s.
What is dementia? Rather than a disease, dementia is a term for a decline in cognitive abilities. It typically affects adults 65 and older and can result from neurological diseases, vascular disorders, central nervous system infections, traumatic brain injuries, and excessive alcohol and drug use. Damage to brain cells leads to various symptoms including short-term memory problems, changes in mood and behavior, difficulty with communication, and trouble with performing familiar tasks. There are different types of dementia, some of which include Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, mixed dementia, and Parkinson’s disease dementia. At this time, there is no way to treat patients with progressive dementias, however, there are medications that can help improve symptoms as well as care services for assistance and support.
As mentioned above, Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia. It is responsible for 60-80% of dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning that it worsens over time and leads to a major decline in a patient’s health and well-being. This disease does not just affect older adults. Individuals in their 30s to 50s can develop early onset Alzheimer’s. There is no exact cause of Alzheimer’s, however, there are various risk factors which include age, genetics, and more. There are different stages of Alzheimer’s: early, middle, and late. Symptoms experienced in the early stage include difficulty with memory, such as forgetting where something was placed. The middle stage often lasts for many years with symptoms like confusion, change in mood, forgetfulness, communication issues, and change in behavior. During the late stage, the individual is nearing the end of their life, requiring full-time care as speaking, eating, and walking. Sadly, there is no cure to Alzheimer’s as it is a degenerative disease.
We Can Help With Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care
Now that we have made the distinctions between dementia and Alzheimer’s, it is important to know how to best care for a loved one with a diagnosis. At Comfort Keepers Grayslake, we understand the challenges families experience when caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s. We offer Alzheimer's and dementia care services and support. Our specialty-trained caregivers will educate families on dementia, integrate activities that stimulate mental or physical activity, provide personal care, companionship, medication reminders, and family respite care, and create a safe environment using SafetyChoice® in-home safety technologies.
We help tens of thousands of seniors, with 18% of them suffering from various forms of dementia or Alzheimer’s. You can trust us to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved one, supporting his or her needs as well as working to preserve their happiness and independence. To learn more about our services, contact us today.