What is the difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

A common mistake is to brand Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as the same condition, when in fact there is a remarkable difference between the two.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe symptoms that impact memory, performance of daily activities and communication abilities. Alzheimer’s is the most common, affecting two-thirds of over 65’s living with dementia.

Dementia is not just about losing your memory although it is one of the more obvious signs. Confusion, disorientation, mood swings, personality changes and difficulty communicating are also symptoms that can progress over time.

Other forms include vascular dementia which affects the memory after suffering a stroke, fronto-temporal which damages the front part of the brain affecting personality and dementia with lewy bodies which affects the base of the brain controlling balance.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. This gradually gets worse over time and specifically affects the part of the brain which controls memory, language and thought. This can then lead to difficulty remembering recent events, impaired judgment or conversations as well as disorientation and confusion which could result in depression.

The reality of Alzheimer’s is that it will slowly but surely take away a person's identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk and walk. Eventually, they will lose control of bodily functions and their body will ultimately shut down.

There are no available treatments to stop the progression Alzheimer’s, but there are drugs that temporarily slow the worsening of symptoms for about six to twelve months, for about half of the individuals who take them.

There are things you can do to live an independent life with a dementia diagnosis. Many people opt to live in their own home for as long as possible, with the support of family members or other carers. They may choose to take up hobbies or become actively involved in Alzheimer’s research studies showing it is possible to have a fulfilling and active life.

At Morris Care, we do everything we can to support those living its one of our specialisms. Our Cedar Philosophy gives our residents with dementia the chance to feel like they are living an enriched and normal life by tailoring their care needs and treating them as the individuals that they are.

A short animated video by Trinity College Dublin outlines the difference between these terms clearly and concisely. They draw a comparison by illustrating the difference between Asthma and shortness of breath.

To find out what we are doing as part of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, keep up-to-date on our latest news and on our Facebook.

To find out about our dementia care, click here http://bit.ly/2xtEoSy

Back to news