You may have heard some people using the terms Alzheimer’s and dementia interchangeably, or you may even have done so yourself. However, there is a clear difference between the two – while Alzheimer’s patients can be considered as having a form of dementia, not all dementia patients have Alzheimer’s disease. In this article, we share you with the differences between Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Dementia is an umbrella term used to define a set of symptoms that causes a decline in cognitive abilities, such as impaired memory and reasoning abilities. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, and an estimated 50 to 70% of all dementia patients suffer from Alzheimer’s. While dementia is most common in older adults and seniors, younger people can also suffer from dementia.
Dementia usually starts out with a few episodes of forgetfulness, which the patient and their loved ones may not make much of. As the condition progresses, other symptoms such as depression, confusion, poor memory, inability to make decisions, poor hygiene and more can start to occur. Besides Alzheimer’s, other common causes of dementia include Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Lewy body dementia (LBD) and more.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that is characterized by damage to brain cells. Normal connections between cells are lost and an abnormal protein is introduced to the brain years before the onset of the disease. Impairment to memory and cognitive function are expected in patients, alongside symptoms such as confusion, agitation, disorientation, and depression. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s presently, there are many things that can be done to improve patients’ quality of life and help them live in a dignified manner.
Your Care Options for Dementia and Alzheimer’s
After your loved one has been diagnosed for dementia and/or Alzheimer’s, you may be faced with a hard choice when it comes to deciding on the best care option for them. While you may wish to become a caregiver for your loved one, this can be challenging due to work and other commitments.
On top of that, chances are you do not have the appropriate training and education in dementia or Alzheimer’s care. Making the decision to transition your loved one to residential care can be tough. However, always remember that any decision you make is in your loved one’s best interests and there is no reason to feel guilty.
Residential Memory Can Help Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
There is no guilt in opting for residential memory care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. In fact, it can help to improve their quality of life. At Discovery Commons At Bradenton, our award-winning SHINE Memory Care program utilizes the latest industry practices and scientific-based approaches to senior care. Dementia care and Alzheimer’s care ensure that your loved one can benefit from a care plan that is customized to their needs, abilities and preferences. If you wish to find out more about our memory care program, please contact us today.