What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's and Dementia?
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
Although some mistakenly use these two terms interchangeably, Alzheimer's and dementia are not the same thing. Dementia describes a collection of symptoms such as loss of memory, loss in performance of day to day activities, and deterioration of verbal communication. Dementia is not a disease - it is a syndrome. In other words, it describes a variety of symptoms that affect cognitive function, but it is not a definitively diagnosed condition. Alzheimer's disease is a specific diagnosis that falls under the umbrella term of dementia. While many of the symptoms of both Alzheimer's and dementia are similar, telling the two conditions apart and recognizing the differences plays a major role in treatment.
Both Alzheimer's and dementia can cause the same main symptoms, which is why the two are often confused. These symptoms include impairment in memory, thinking, and communication. Alzheimer's disease can include some additional symptoms: depression, apathy, confusion, disorientation, changes in behavior, and even difficulty swallowing or walking in later stages.
Some types of dementia cannot be reversed, and over time, symptoms can continue to decline. However, it is possible that some of the symptoms can be managed with proper treatment. In some circumstances, another condition can cause dementia, and treating the underlying cause can be beneficial.
Although Alzheimer's disease is a terminal illness that currently has no known cure, caregivers can help provide treatment for the individual symptoms it causes, such as depression, behavioral changes, and memory loss.
At The Galway Homes, our caregivers provide personalized and compassionate care for our residents, specifically tailored to those suffering from conditions of memory impairment.
For more information or to schedule a tour, call us at (913)676-7277