In the past, you may have heard dementia and Alzheimer’s used interchangeably. However, their meanings are very different. Dementia, more of an overall term than a specific disease, is sometimes used as an umbrella term to describe numerous symptoms that are considerably wide-ranging. A person’s ability to independently perform everyday activities are impacting symptoms, which can include the following:
- Changes in communication and language skills
- Decreased attention and focus
- Poor reasoning skills and judgment
- Changes in thinking skills
- Decline in memory
A type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, is but one of many. There are numerous causes and types of dementia including the following:
- Mixed dementia
- Huntington’s disease
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Parkinson’s disease dementia
- Vascular dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Lewy body dementia
The most common and well-known, however, Alzheimer’s disease, is a form of dementia. But not everybody has Alzheimer’s disease just because they have dementia.
With no specific cause, a particular collection of symptoms are described by the word “dementia”. A wide range of mental functions can be affected by it. Linked with dementia are numerous different conditions. About 70% of dementia cases are attributed to Alzheimer’s disease. But the causes and types differ, as listed above.
Signs and symptoms that mirror dementia can be caused by different conditions and factors. Some of those are as follows:
- Stress, anxiety, or depression
- Liver, kidney, or thyroid problems
- Traumatic head injury
- High consumption of alcohol
- Deficiencies in vitamin D (possibly) and, more likely, vitamin B12
- Interactions between and the use of some drugs
Who Is at Risk?
Though one of the main risk factors for dementia is aging, as we age, it is not inevitable. Here are some United States statistics:
- Alzheimer’s disease is present – where adults 65 years of age or older are concerned – in approximate 11%
- Types of dementia may be present – where people of 85 years of age or older are concerned – in approximately 50%.
- With age, symptoms tend to worsen.
Though more common among older adults, dementia can also be developed at a younger age.
What Are the Warning Signs?
Depending on the area of the brain that is affected by the condition, dementia symptoms can vary in range and severity. Most commonly, the symptoms include the following:
- Sexual and social disinhibition, and other inappropriate behaviors
- For no apparent reason, walking around aimlessly
- Sleep disturbances
- The same questions get repeated over and over
- Disinterest and detachment
- Low mood
- Distress and anxiety
Unfortunately, before many dementia sufferers see a physician, significant damage is already present. Because it takes time for symptoms to appear, a more challenging treatment may be presented by delays.
Alzheimer’s Signs and Symptoms
Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s can include the following:
- Difficulty walking, swallowing, or other physical problems
- Difficulty understanding and using words
- Suspicions (normally unfounded) about the people around them
- Confusion about events, places, and times
- Behavioral and mood changes
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Treatments
The damage from dementia cannot be reversed with current treatments. There is no cure. In some instances, however, to prevent the condition from progressing, there may be options. The specific type of dementia will help to determine the treatment.
To relieve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, for example, the following may be considered:
- To manage daily life better, cognitive rehab therapy or cognitive training to help develop better habits.
- Getting regular exercise and exposure to sunlight, which will also help with sleep.
- Ensuring personal safety and comfort.
Taking certain medications, depending on what they are, can help manage Alzheimer-related issues like anxiety, sleep problems, and other symptoms, as well as treating Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Regency Pointe Offers SHINE ® Memory Care
Though, as a retirement community, Regency Pointe does offer independent living, active senior apartments, and assisted living, we also pride ourselves on our SHINE® Memory Care program. The specialists associated with this program have a deep understanding of the difficulties that individuals face with cognitive impairments. Through a journey of self-discovery, our highly trained team will direct your loved one with love and care.
See for yourself all we have to offer. Schedule a tour today. If you prefer, you can contact us at 844-578-021924, for sales and leasing questions, call 256.269.1919.