Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are two common conditions associated with memory loss but are each distinct. They take away a person’s ability to think, remember, communicate, and more. Knowing the differences between Alzheimer’s and dementia can help you provide better care for your loved ones.

What Is Dementia?

Dementia is a group of symptoms associated with thinking skills, reasoning, and a decline in memory. These symptoms affect a person’s ability to perform daily activities and tasks without assistance. There are different types of dementia, and various conditions can cause each. All kinds of dementia are progressive, meaning they worsen as time passes.

Symptoms of Dementia

More than 55 million people worldwide have dementia, with around 10 million new cases yearly. People with dementia can show the following symptoms:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Language changes
  • Poor judgment and reasoning
  • Decrease in focus and attention

Generally, dementia affects a person’s memory and thinking skills and other areas of life. Memory loss is often the first symptom of dementia, including forgetting names, recent events and conversations, and people’s faces.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease caused by complex changes in the brain. It’s the most common type of dementia, named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. Dr. Alzheimer noticed changes in a woman’s brain tissue after she died of an unusual mental illness in 1906. Her symptoms included the following:

  • Memory loss
  • Language problems
  • Unpredictable behavior

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease first impacts the part of the brain associated with learning. When you notice the following symptoms, it could be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s:

  • Difficulty remembering new information
  • Memory loss
  • Poor judgment and problem-solving
  • Loss of sense of initiative
  • Forgetting current dates and locations
  • Changes in personality and mood
  • Taking longer to complete usual, daily tasks

The Differences Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s

It can be challenging to know the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s by just looking at the symptoms. The answer is this: Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of symptoms caused by many different diseases or disorders, including Alzheimer’s.

Dementia is not a single disease but a catchall for symptoms related to memory, thinking, and behavior, and Alzheimer’s is its most common form. Moreover, Alzheimer’s is not just a group of symptoms. It’s a disease that currently effects more than 6 million Americans.

A Future for People with Dementia and Alzheimer’s at Taylor Glen

Senior adults are most likely to be affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s. While dementia and all its types aren’t a normal part of aging, damage to brain cells that occurs with age can increase the risks. Caring for individuals and loved ones with dementia requires special skills, patience, and mental and physical strength.

At Taylor Glen, we welcome and care for seniors with our Life Plan Community. For those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related disorders, we offer memory-enhanced residences and additional levels of care in our Memory Care program. Our trained professionals are here to help with all activities of daily living while providing a safe and comfortable environment. Contact us today for more information!