What is the difference between Alzheimer's disease and dementia?

alzheimers home care - roanoke va.jpg

Alzheimer’s is dementia but dementia is not always Alzheimer’s.

Dementia: a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.(Mayo Clinic)

There are numerous causes of brain injury or disease. Some are diagnosable and some are little more than educated guesses and reasoning. Some are not known until the brain is autopsied upon death.

Alzheimer’s is the most well-known form of dementia because it affects the most people. Statistically, 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 and older have Alzheimer’s. There are as many as 10 different forms or types of dementia. Another common known form is “mixed dementia” or Alzheimer’s mixed with vascular dementia; experiencing two types of dementia at the same time.

Why do we care what kind of dementia a person is diagnosed? There isn’t a cure. It has been 20+ years since the breakthrough drug Aricept came into mainstream use for relief of some symptoms of Alzheimer’s. There aren’t any significant new medications to impact this disease or any dementia since 1996. This makes a person’s caregiver team including their family, volunteers, medical and non-medical staff the cornerstone of effective treatment to achieve a high quality of life.

If caregivers have the background of the cause of the disease, brain injury, or dementia, then they can plan how to provide different levels of care and stability.  Understanding the disease and symptoms will allow them to be aware of a person’s potential limitations and to focus on a person’s abilities.

Previous Post: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Companion Home Care

About Companion Home Care Inc:

Companion Home Care is a home health care and hospice care provider based in Roanoke, VA. It was founded in 2004 by Michelle L. Belton, a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who has been caring for seniors with Alzheimer's disease and dementia for over 14 years.  The company's motto is to provide "a better class of Companion for a better quality of life." Companion Home Care caregivers must pass a thorough background check, drug screen, and rigorous screening process. Caregivers are given training on home care for seniors with Alzheimer's disease and dementia and receive ongoing education on senior home care best practices. Companion Home Care also provides care for adults with physical and mental disabilities, as well as nanny and child care services for children.

Companion Home Care Inc
424 Campbell Ave SW
Roanoke, VA 24016
(540) 981-2255