Oftentimes, the terms “dementia” and “Alzhiemer’s” are used interchangeably. However, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not the same thing. Dementia is an overarching term which is used to describe memory-related problems and cognitive decline. Meanwhile, Alzhimer’s disease is the name for the most common form of dementia. Read on to get a more in-depth understanding of what exactly constitutes dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia is a term used to describe a whole host of symptoms, such as the decline in memory and reasoning. There are many types of dementia such as Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and the most common of all, Alzheimer’s Disease.
Individuals can be afflicted with more than one type of dementia. For instance, an individual suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease might also have Parkinson’s Disease. When this happens, we say that the patient has “mixed dementia”.
As dementia worsens, it will adversely impact the patient’s ability to function independently. Dementia is one of the main cause of disability in older adults, but they are not the only ones impacted. Their families and caregivers are often placed under severely emotional stress at seeing their loved ones becoming a shadow of their former selves. Treatment and placing them in senior living communities can also cost a fortune.
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease that is caused by cell damage in the brain, which results in complex brain changes. The cause of this is unknown, but age is a known risk factor. The most prevalent common early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is the inability to remember new information, as the cells in the part of the brain which is associated with learning are impacted first.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, symptoms worsen, resulting in behavioral changes, confusion and disorentiation. Eventually, even vital bodily functions such as swallowing and walking become impossible.
Although the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are above the age of 65, there is still a substantial number of Americans under 65 – approximately 200,000 of them, living with Alzheimer’s disease.
What Can You Do if You or Your Loved One Is Suffering from Memory-Related Issues?
When a loved one suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they might require specialized care which family caregivers are not trained to provide. Hiring a live-in, professional caregiver to look after them can be costly. It is therefore highly recommended that they are moved to an appropriate senior living community where there will be trained, professional staff to look after their every need and ensure they live their golden years in dignity.
At Discovery Village At Naples, our award-winning SHINE® Memory Care program aims to provide the highest quality of life for seniors stricken with dementia and other memory-related problems through our uniquely customized approach to memory care using science-driven data. When your loved one becomes a part of our community, you can be assured that they are in good hands, and our staff will do their best to preserve and rebuild all which has been taken away by this dreadful affliction.