Just what is the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia?
Technically speaking dementia is actually an umbrella term for a set of symptoms that’s caused by progressive and irreversible brain diseases. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. The key thing to remember, is that a person with Alzheimer’s has dementia, but only some people with dementia have Alzheimer’s. Individuals with these symptoms need assisted living and memory care .
Symptoms of dementia can be hard to define and can vary from person to person. You may expect things like difficulties with remembering, thinking, and language, difficulties with daily activities, and emotional or behavioral difficulties. In the case of Alzheimer’s, the symptoms are a little more specific. At first a person may appear to have mild memory care needs, and even a change in behavior. But as time goes on, these symptoms tend to get worse, and other symptoms, such as confusion or depression, can appear.
What about treatment options, can dementia be reversed?
Sadly, dementia worsens over time, and can’t be reversed or cured. When Alzheimer’s is the cause there are medicines, that in some cases, may slow down the development of symptoms for up to two years, to help people manage daily life independently for as long as possible. While symptoms will worsen over time, until around-the-clock care is needed, people can live well with dementia if they receive support, good care and understanding.
We all want to know if we’re at risk or what measures we could take to prevent dementia. Though we might be more at risk in later life, rest easy, knowing it’s not an inevitable part of getting old. Having a healthy lifestyle, looking after your diet, getting enough exercise, and not smoking can help reduce your risk. Dementia can have a huge impact on family and those looking after loved ones. So if you’re a carer make sure you reach out for support.
Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia Care Program
Dementia is not a specific disease but a descriptive term for a collection of symptoms. These symptoms can be caused by number of disorders that affect the brain. There are many forms of Dementia. The most recognizable is Alzheimer’s Disease. This condition accounts for almost half of all Dementia cases. Some other types are Lewy Body Dementia, Huntington Disease, and even Parkinson Disease.
Dementia affects 4-5 million people in the United States alone. This number will rise as more people reach the 65 and older – the age Dementia starts to affect a person.
How do we treat Dementia?
Well, the Medical community is in agreement that care should focus on optimizing the individual’s health and quality of life. This treatment most often consists of medications and non-drug treatments such as behavioral therapy.
Some of the senior home care facilities developed a program to treat Dementia by engaging their clients in recreation, promoting relaxation, encouraging reminiscence, building relationships, and providing resources to our clients’ families.
- Customizes programming based on clients’ past or present interests
- Provides individualized dementia education and training to caregivers and families
- Decreases a loved ones stress by providing care with safe, stimulating activities
- Promotes longevity of living in the current environment
- Offers tools for ongoing behavior management
- Monitors medication side effects
- Provides access to Licensed Clinical Social Worker consultations as needed
- Encourages improved communication with Physicians
- Provides initial assessment by a home care professional evaluating stage of dementia, social history, mental status, and activity preference
- Creates a custom plan identifying needed personal care services
- Offers client-centered care management to link and coordinate quality services, referrals, and consultation.
- Enhance dignity and self-esteem
- Provide purpose and meaning to life
- Encourage the best of abilities
- Provide a sense of security and togetherness
- Reduce wandering
- Reduce agitation
- Improve mood
- Increase in longevity of living at home rather than facility placement
- Improve family involvement and communication regarding personal care services for the client
- Increase family communication with physician regarding mood and behavior status resulting in appropriate medication adjustments
- Enhances family’s knowledge of the disease
- Decrease in spouse’s/caregiver’s stress
- Increase in recommended resource referrals
- Improvement of home safety conditions