Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia: What You Need To Know

What is the Difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

Oftentimes, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are confused, with many people using the words “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s disease” interchangeably. One of the most important facts to note, however, is that Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia. Dementia itself isn’t a disease, but is rather a group of symptoms. These symptoms affect an individual’s mental tasks such as memory and reasoning. As dementia progresses, however, it can have a detrimental impact on the individual’s ability to function independently.

With both Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, your risk increases as you age, however, younger people can develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Neither Alzheimer’s nor dementia are considered a normal part of growing older.

Symptoms & Causes of Dementia

Dementia often begins with simple episodes of forgetfulness and people with dementia often have trouble keeping track of time and tend to lose their way in familiar settings. Early symptoms of dementia, however, are often mild and can be easily overlooked. Forgetfulness and confusion grow as dementia progresses and there are more noticeable signs including repetitious questioning, inadequate hygiene and poor decision making. Dementia patients become unable to care for themselves in the most advanced stage as time, people and place become even more confusing.

Risk of developing dementia increases with age, but many conditions can cause dementia including degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Infections such as HIV have also been known to trigger dementia as well as vascular diseases and stroke.

About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, on the other hand, is a progressive disease of the brain that slowly impairs memory and cognitive function. At this time, the exact cause of the disease is unknown and there is no cure. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s generally begin to develop after age 60, although younger people can, and do also suffer from the disease.

Since there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the treatments typically involve medications that focus on managing symptoms caused by dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. In some cases, treating of the underlying conditions that are causing dementia can help. Patients can also benefit from supportive services from home health aides and other caregivers, however, as the disease progresses an assisted living community or Alzheimer’s center may be necessary.

Innovative Memory Care Communities at Eddy Senior Living

Eddy Senior Living has been committed to improving the quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, since the 1980s. The Marjorie Doyle Rockwell Center located in Cohoes, NY is a unique residential community specially designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other related memory loss. The Eddy Alzheimer’s Center at Eddy Hawthorne Ridge is located in East Greenbush, NY.  Our innovative memory care communities provide a warm, homelike environment where dignity and independence come first. For more information about our Memory Care communities or to speak with our Senior Living Specialists, please contact us today or give us a call at (518) 280-8385!