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May 20, 2022

The Differences Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

What are the differences between Alzheimer s and dementia
Do you know the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia? Since both share many of the same symptoms, it can be somewhat confusing. The Alzheimer’s Association Louisiana Chapter is the trusted resource for reliable information, education, and support to millions of people who are affected in Louisiana.

So, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you are not alone. If you are in the Acadiana area, Home Instead is a personalized in-home service that can assist with Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Lafayette, LA, and surrounding areas.

Alzheimer’s Facts

  • It is a degenerative disease that robs people of their memory.
  • It is the most common type of dementia that worsens over time.
  • People with Alzheimer’s will struggle to remember new information because the disease impacts the part of the brain that is associated with learning first.
  • Alzheimer’s patients might forget simple tasks such as their loved one’s name, how to dress themselves, and feed themselves.
  • It affects most people 65 and older but an estimated 200,000 Americans under 65 are living with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
  • About 1 in 8 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s.
  • Women are more likely to have it than men.
  • The biggest risks linked to Alzheimer’s are genetics and age.
  • There are medications that can help treat the disease but there is no cure.

Dementia Facts

  • Not a disease, but a syndrome.
  • It is a general term defined as a group of symptoms that affect memory, daily activities, and communication abilities.
  • It occurs when certain brain cells are damaged.
  • As dementia advances, it can have a major impact on functioning independently.
  • There are many different types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia to name a few.
  • People can have more than one type of dementia known as “mixed dementia” but this can only be confirmed through an autopsy.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older African Americans are twice as likely to develop dementia than non-Hispanic white people.
  • It is the fifth leading cause of death globally.
  • There is no cure.
Although Alzheimer’s and dementia are not the same things, they do have many of the same warning signs. So, differentiating between the two illnesses can be empowering for the caregiver, family, and patient.

Signs of Alzheimer’s

  • Memory loss. This is the most common symptom where patients will start to have trouble retaining new information.
  • Struggle with daily activities. Patients begin to have difficulty with their normal everyday routine.
  • Becomes delusional. Patients can start to lose their grip on reality by developing suspicious or paranoid thoughts.
  • Decreased cognitive functions. The ability to think, decide, and understand things becomes difficult.

Signs of Dementia

  • Mood swings. Patients might suffer from changes in behavior such as depression and a sudden burst of laughing or crying for no clear reason.
  • Decrease in daily tasks. Household chores such as cooking and cleaning become impossible to maintain.
  • A decline in social activities. Patients start to become less interested in social outings and hobbies that they use to enjoy.
  • Repeat themselves. Most people will begin to repeat themselves by telling the same story in the same way or asking the same question over and over.
  • Short-term memory loss. This is one of the most common signs of dementia. People with dementia may put things in inappropriate places such as the keys in the fridge.
  • Loss of time and place. People can lose their sense of the present time and where they are such as going to the grocery store and not remembering how they got there. You can also learn more in our previous post about early warning signs of Dementia.
People with Alzheimer’s are said to function better when they still live and feel safe in their homes. That is why an in-home care service like Home Instead is a great alternative.

Our highly skilled and trustworthy CAREGivers at Home Instead treat our clients with dignity and respect while managing their treatment plan. Our Care Manager will thoroughly and carefully assess each client to formulate a personalized home care plan that benefits their needs.

Contact us today to learn more about our Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Lafayette, LA, and nearby areas. Remember, great in-home care equals peace of mind which is what Home Instead can do for you.