Many people think Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are interchangeable terms, but even though these conditions are related, they’re not the same thing. Dementia is a brain disorder affecting communication and the ability to perform everyday activities, while Alzheimer’s disease is a specific form of dementia affecting the parts of the brain that control memory, thought, and language. Keep reading to learn more about their differences.
What Is Dementia?
Several symptoms fall under the umbrella term “dementia,” including impaired thinking and memory. Dementia is the disorder most often associated with age-related cognitive decline. However, it’s not a normal part of the aging process. Alzheimer’s isn’t the only disease that can cause dementia. Other diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, can also cause dementia symptoms. Doctors use several tests, including mental status evaluations, blood tests, and brain scans, to determine the cause of dementia.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for up to 70 percent of dementia cases. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s can include impaired speech, confusion, and difficulty with memory. Unlike some types of dementia, Alzheimer’s cannot be reversed. It’s a degenerative disease with no current cure. Some dementia causes, such as drug interactions and vitamin deficiencies, are temporary and can be reversed with the right treatment.
If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Pembroke Pines seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to.
What Are the Symptoms?
Many forms of dementia share symptoms such as forgetfulness, confusion, communication impairment, and disorientation. Other symptoms can vary depending on the specific form of dementia. For example, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease may demonstrate depression, apathy, impaired judgment, and changes in visual perception. Individuals with dementia caused by Huntington’s or Parkinson’s disease typically exhibit involuntary movements in the early stages of the condition. A person with Lewy body dementia typically experiences hallucinations and other visual disturbances during the initial stages of the disease. These subtle differences in symptoms and when they appear can be helpful in making a diagnosis and determining the course of treatment.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
Alzheimer’s disease is typically managed through various medications that can address behavioral changes and memory loss. Treatments for other forms of dementia may vary based on the underlying cause. For example, individuals with vascular dementia receive treatments aimed at preventing strokes and limiting further damage to the blood vessels in the brain. Regardless of the specific cause, most individuals with dementia will need significant supportive care from family members and professional caregivers once the condition reaches an advanced stage.
In many cases, the causes of dementia and Alzheimer’s are unknown or unclear. Until a doctor makes an official diagnosis, the best treatment for your loved one should include communication, engagement, and patience.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Pembroke Pines Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (954) 374-8273.