Alzheimer’s vs Dementia Symptoms: Understanding the Differences

Time always wins when it comes to staying young and keeping your mind sharp. You can take the proper steps to make the most of the time you're given, but it's still possible that you'll start facing signs of Alzheimer's or dementia later in life. Many people don't recognize or understand the differences between these two debilitating conditions, and close to 6 million people have Alzheimer's.

Learning the differences between Alzheimer's vs. Dementia symptoms is essential. You can take preventative steps to keep your condition from worsening. Providing care for Alzheimer's patients in your family is much easier when you know what to expect.

The good news is that you've found the perfect guide to learn more about the signs of Alzheimer's and dementia and the steps to mitigate those symptoms and live a full life. Keep reading to learn more today!

What Is Dementia?

Dementia is the name scientists give to represent a few brain disorders that make remembering details difficult for older adults. Decision-making and clarity of thought start to decline when dementia sets in. Alzheimer's is one of many of these disorders classified as dementia.

There is much more that goes into dementia than simply having difficulties remembering things. Some people struggle with communication and speaking when they start having dementia symptoms. Others struggle with judgment and can't concentrate on simple tasks like they used to.

It's tricky to determine which type of dementia you have since many symptoms overlap. Visiting a doctor with the experience to care for seniors with dementia is the best step to take for the health and well-being of your loved one.

Learning about the different types of dementia is also a wise move. Here's a closer look at the main types of dementia.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is the second-most common form of dementia. Vascular dementia causes progressive brain damage since it cuts off the blood flow to your brain's blood vessels. You'll experience miniature strokes and blood bleeding when you receive a diagnosis of vascular dementia.

Memory loss is not an initial symptom of vascular dementia. The symptoms of this form of dementia present themselves based on the brain's area most impacted by the blood flow issues. Exercise and take steps to keep your blood pressure low if you want to avoid vascular dementia.

Mixed Dementia

Mixed dementia occurs when your loved one faces more than one type of dementia. It happens when someone has brain plaques that result in Alzheimer's disease along with vascular dementia. Mixed dementia is one of the more severe types of dementia.

Huntingdon's Disease

Huntingdon's Disease is another common form of dementia that elderly individuals face. This disease is traced back to a gene one of your parents passed on to you. The gene impacts the central area of your brain, and it changes the way that you feel emotions and how you move.

What Is Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's Disease is a condition that falls under the category of dementia, and it's the most common form that elderly individuals face. This condition is progressive, meaning it gets worse as time continues on. As of 2023, there is no cure for Alzheimer's Disease, though there are steps you can take to care for Alzheimer's patients.

The condition of Alzheimer's happens when proteins and fibers build up in your brain. They block nerve signals and destroy your brain's nerve cells, making it difficult to think and remember details from your life. Memory loss might not seem bad at first, but it worsens as time passes.

Many Alzheimer's patients struggle to remember important names and events in their lives. They could also experience significant personality changes and a lack of interest in things they used to love. Mood changes and depression are also common for individuals who have Alzheimer's symptoms.

Your loved one will need more help carrying on conversations and handling daily tasks as their Alzheimer's symptoms get worse. Their doctor can test their concentration, memory, and language to identify the signs of Alzheimer's and make an Alzheimer's diagnosis. Here are some tips to use when helping someone with Alzheimer's.

Reduce Frustrations

It's easy for someone with Alzheimer's to become frustrated by tasks that were once simple and easy. A great way to help your loved one is to find ways to reduce their frustrations in daily life. A good rule of thumb is to establish a routine that your loved one can stick to each day.

You also need to anticipate that tasks will take longer than they used to, especially as the signs of Alzheimer's start growing worse. Limiting napping is also key in order to keep your loved one on the right path for Alzheimer's treatment.

Create a Safe Environment

The most important thing to do when you're caring for an Alzheimer's patient is to create a safe environment where they can thrive. Your loved one's judgment and thinking skills are starting to deteriorate, so get rid of any unnecessary obstacles in their living space.

Locks are also important to purchase, especially for cabinets in places like the kitchen. You'll need to lock up any dangerous items like firearms, knives, and other sharp objects in order to keep your patient safe.

Water temperature is another thing to consider, as it's possible that your loved one will develop burns if the thermostat is too high. Don't forget fire safety precautions, especially if you're not living with your loved one while they seek help for their Alzheimer's symptoms.

Now You Know the Difference Between Alzheimer's vs. Dementia Symptoms

The Alzheimer's vs. Dementia symptoms have many similarities, but they're quite different. You need to know these differences if you want to care for Alzheimer's patients. Alzheimer's is a form of dementia in which the memory of the patient continues fading over time. Dementia is made up of a number of issues ranging from vascular dementia to mixed dementia.

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