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Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia

alzheimer's vs dementia

Although the terms Alzheimer’s and dementia are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Understanding the differences between Alzheimer’s vs dementia is an essential first step to knowing how to help a loved one with either diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s vs Dementia 

While both Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are terms used to describe negative changes in cognition, memory, and mental ability, they do not represent the same ailment.

Dementia is a broad term used to describe a set of symptoms, not a specific diagnosis. Dementia is characterized by memory loss and changes in cognition, personality, and reasoning skills. This group of symptoms becomes dementia when the decline in mental ability becomes severe enough to affect the person’s daily life. It is most often associated with older adults. Some things can be done to delay the onset of more severe symptoms, but there is no cure.

Alzheimer’s is a specific category of dementia—in fact, it is the most commonly diagnosed subtype. This condition is progressive, starting with minor memory lapses and ending with someone who can no longer care for themselves or recognize loved ones. There is no definitive cause of Alzheimer’s, although recent research indicates it involves an overabundance of proteins in and around the brain cells. Why this happens in some and not others seems to be tied to genetics, environment, and lifestyle. Some medications and therapies can help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms, but like dementia as a whole, this condition cannot be cured.

Caring For Alzheimer’s vs Dementia 

Although the terms Alzheimer’s and dementia are not interchangeable, the struggles of dealing with an older adult who has either can be very similar. No one can easily watch a loved one regress each day. Aside from the emotional turmoil this may cause, keeping a loved one safe is also tricky as they become increasingly incapacitated. Because both dementia and Alzheimer’s are progressive, there will likely come a time when outside help will be needed.

Let Legacy Homecare LA Help You 

Caring for an aging loved one is a challenge that many families face. If your family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the challenge is even more significant. This can put undue stress on your family, your relationships, and the older adult in need of care. Legacy Homecare LA can help.

Legacy Homecare LA specializes in providing certified, highly qualified Care Companions to assist older adults. Our Care Companions understand the unique needs of those who have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. They will help you to find the right level of care for your aging loved one’s current needs and ensure continuous care as their needs evolve.

Caring for an older adult can be a struggle, but you don’t need to go through it alone. Book a consultation with Legacy Homecare LA today. We’ll help you breathe easy in the knowledge that your loved one will be well cared for and encouraged to live their best life for as long as possible.