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What Are the Differences Between Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease?

Ways Alzheimer's & Dementia Are Different in Prestige Home Care

What Are the Differences Between Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease?

Many people, including some health professionals, use the terms dementia and Alzheimer’s interchangeably. However, the two terms aren’t synonymous. Understanding the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is critical in treating the conditions.  

Definitions 

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of symptoms affecting memory, communication skills, and the ability to perform routine tasks. Saying a person has dementia is analogous to saying someone has a sore shoulder. Just like the shoulder pain may be caused by arthritis, bursitis, or even a torn rotator cuff, dementia can be caused by a variety of health conditions. To be classified as having dementia, a person must have deficits in at least two of the following areas:  

  • Memory 
  • Reasoning and judgment 
  • Focus and concentration 
  • Visual perception 
  • Speech and communication 

It’s only after the underlying cause of these symptoms is identified that the appropriate treatment can be determined. Alzheimer’s disease is a specific condition as well as the most common cause of dementia symptoms. Several other health issues can also cause dementia, such as Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and various vascular conditions. Even drug use and vitamin deficiencies due to malnutrition can cause dementia symptoms. 

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 Prestige Home Care, a leading provider of home care Prestige Home Care, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

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 experience depression, apathy, impaired judgment, and changes in visual perception. Those 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. 

Treatment Options

Alzheimer’s disease is typically treated with 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.  

Senior care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Long-Term Prognosis 

Alzheimer’s disease and most other forms of dementia aren’t curable. The goal of treatment is to slow the progression of the disease and enhance quality of life for as long as possible. In rare cases, such as when dementia is caused by a severe vitamin deficiency or a brain tumor, cognitive function may increase once the underlying condition is treated. 

Whether you loved one Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, you may find it challenging to provide the care he or she needs and deserves. If you’re looking for reliable dementia home care, Windermere Prestige Home Care offers high-quality at-home care for seniors who are managing the challenges of cognitive decline. We offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which uses mentally stimulating activities to boost cognitive health in the elderly. CTM has proven to help seniors with dementia regain a sense of pride and accomplishment and learn how to engage with others in an enjoyable way. To schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers, please give us a call today at [phc_phone].

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Kimberly Miller, RN, is a proud Florida native with an unwavering commitment to elder care that spans an impressive 25 years. Her extensive journey through central Florida’s hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospice companies has not only honed her understanding of disease processes but has also cultivated a profound expertise in navigating the intricate landscape of elder care. Kimberly’s dedication to delivering the highest quality of care to patients and their families is evident in every facet of her career.Armed with certifications as an assisted living administrator, Kimberly’s primary focus on customer service and her drive to address the holistic needs of individuals—mind, body, and soul—have led her to a resounding conclusion: home care is the future of personalized, high-quality care. Her conviction is rooted in the understanding that a combination of healthy nutrition, physical and mental exercise, and social engagement is directly linked to improved physical and mental well-being.The recent global pandemic has served as a poignant reminder of the limitations of institutional care, further strengthening Kimberly’s resolve. Motivated by a profound desire to make a meaningful difference, she has taken the helm at Prestige Home Care. Here, Kimberly is dedicated to providing a level of care that goes beyond industry standards—a level of care she would wholeheartedly entrust to her own family.