Are Alzheimer’s and Dementia the Same Disease?

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Many people believe Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are interchangeable terms, but this isn’t true. An individual who has dementia doesn’t necessarily have Alzheimer’s as well, which is why seniors and their caregivers should spend some time researching these two medical terms. Here is a closer look at some of the key differences between Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

What Is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe many different disorders that impact cognitive function. Most forms of dementia result in memory loss, mood swings, and poor decision making. Some types of dementia also produce physical symptoms such as tremors, chronic pain, and limited mobility. To make an accurate dementia diagnosis, doctors may have to run several tests.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are just two of the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Barrie families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.  

A Closer Look at Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that develops when the brain can’t flush away plaque, is the most common form of dementia. Over time, these tangles of plaque kill off brain cells and block nerve impulses, which can result in a myriad of symptoms ranging from memory loss to sudden changes in demeanor. Alzheimer’s disease tends to get worse over time, but there are many different medications and therapies that can slow its progression. Seniors who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease early can usually delay some of the worst symptoms. 

Other Common Forms of Dementia

Around 70 percent of all seniors with dementia have Alzheimer’s, but there are a few other types of dementia that exist. Vascular dementia develops when the brain doesn’t get enough blood, and it usually occurs after a senior has had a stroke or other cardiac event. Other cognitive disorders include mixed dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. 

Seniors with dementia often face difficulty managing daily activities. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Barrie seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. 

Are the Treatments the Same?

After being diagnosed with dementia, seniors need to carry out a variety of tests to determine the severity and stage of their condition. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are usually treated with a combination of brain-boosting medications and therapy. Occupational therapy makes daily tasks much easier, and it can drastically enhance quality of life. The goal of rehabilitation therapy is to boost cognitive function by retraining the brain’s pathways. 

How to Reduce the Risk of Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Boosting overall health is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of dementia, and it includes sticking to a nutritious diet, exercising daily, and socializing with loved ones. Regularly challenging cognitive abilities can delay the symptoms of dementia as well. Doing puzzles, playing video games, and learning new languages are all great options for aging adults who want to reduce their dementia risk.

If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Barrie senior home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Whether you need a respite or live-in caregiver for your aging parent, give us a call at 705-503-2273 today.