It is a common misconception that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are the same thing. Although they may have similar symptoms, there are important distinctions between them. Understanding the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia is essential to getting an accurate diagnosis, as well as providing proper care. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two conditions.
Dementia is not actually a specific disease, but rather an umbrella term for any condition that impairs memory, thinking or behavior severely enough to interfere with daily life. The most common causes of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Other forms of dementia can include vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, HIV-associated cognitive impairment and traumatic brain injury.
Alzheimer's is a progressive neurological disorder that gradually destroys memory, thinking skills and the ability to perform various everyday tasks. It is the most common form of dementia and accounts for 60-80 percent of all cases. Common symptoms include memory loss (especially short-term), confusion about time or place, difficulty in performing familiar tasks and changes in behavior or personality. Other symptoms include language problems such as forgetting simple words or substituting inappropriate words; difficulty carrying out multistep tasks; disorientation; misplacing things; poor judgment; mood swings; withdrawal from social activities; difficulty with activities requiring visual perception such as reading or writing; and agitation.
If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of either Alzheimer’s or dementia it is important to contact your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis so that proper treatment can be provided. Empire Home Health Care offers home healthcare services in Philadelphia PA that provide personalized support for those affected by these conditions by helping them remain independent at home while also providing family members with respite care when needed. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you manage your loved one’s care needs while respecting their dignity and independence at home.