Do You Know the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Posted on June 4, 2018 · Posted in Alzheimer, Dementia, Grand Oaks

In honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the Grand Oaks communities would like to provide some helpful insights on the differences between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Because both disorders often present similar symptoms, it’s not uncommon to assume they are one in the same. Symptoms such as memory loss, impaired judgment, or confusion can be attributed to both diseases, but the Alzheimer’s and dementia differences are real.

There are certain characteristics seen with Alzheimer’s disease that are not present in those experiencing dementia. Dementia results from damaged brain cells, whereas Alzheimer’s disease involves additional buildup of proteins in the memory-related area of the brain. Dementia is an umbrella term for brain-related disorders such as memory loss or impaired cognitive function, and can be caused by a number of health conditions, including:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Brain tumors
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Certain forms of dementia are reversible, such as dementia caused by malnutrition or alcohol abuse. Dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, however, is not reversible. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, so does the degree of dementia. While it is possible to have dementia without having Alzheimer’s, most cases of dementia are related to the disease. In fact, Alzheimer’s is responsible for around 70 percent of all dementia cases, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

If you notice a loved one exhibiting signs of dementia, such as:

  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Struggling to find the right words
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble completing everyday tasks
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty following storylines

It’s best to schedule an appointment with a physician to determine the cause of your loved one’s symptoms. If the symptoms are related to a type of dementia that is reversible, early recognition and treatment can prevent further symptoms and greatly improve your loved one’s quality of life. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, the specially-trained staff members at Grand Oaks of Palm City can provide assistance, stability, companionship, and so much more at our state-of-the-art Memory Care Center. For more information or to schedule a tour of our assisted living or memory care community, contact us today! [contact form or button]

For information on Alzheimer’s or dementia care at home, visit www.vnaflorida.org.

For more information on Alzheimer’s or dementia, visit www.alz.org/seflorida.