What is the difference between dementia and alzheimer’s?

Oct 18, 2019 | Articles

What is the difference between dementia and alzheimer's - photo of daughter holding her older father's hands.

It may start as “forgetfulness.” It happens to everyone as they age, correct? Maybe, maybe not. But what if it’s something more serious? As symptoms — and concerns — grow, you may suddenly find yourself searching for answers. In such cases, one question that is frequently asked is, what is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

Dementia is a general term used to describe memory loss and related symptoms. Sadly, this is a major cause of disability with older adults. Symptoms can be relatively mild — such as “forgetfullness” — to severe. Individuals with severe dementia typically get to a point where they are unable to provide proper care for themselves.

Alzheimer’s disease, on the other hand, is a type of dementia that gets progressively worse over time. Unfortunately, there is no known cause or cure. There are, however, specific drugs that can be prescribed to slow memory lose and improve related behavioral issues such as depression.

Studying the brain after death is really the only way to determine the type of dementia found in the patient.

Whether you’re dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, support services are strongly recommended for both the patient and his or her caregivers. Support services may include home care, assisted living or a nursing home where care and supervision can be provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will provide both a safe and caring environment for the patient, and peace of mind for concerned loved ones.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are asking the question what is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s likely time to turn to a caring support network. Start by having a conversation with your doctor, who should be able to provide contact information for a variety of helpful services in your city or town. Or, feel free to contact the professionals at Bristol Homes at (716) 406-9500 or info@bristolhome.org for more information and guidance.

We can help you further understand the question: What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

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