The Difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

According to the recent surveys on diseases, the number of Alzheimer’s and dementia cases is on the rise. They are becoming the topmost concern for the elderly, seniors, their family members and homecare providers. Although the clinical manifestations of both these diseases are quite similar, there are many differences that may affect the ongoing care.

According to the American Medical Association, Dementia is the medical term that is used for the conditions arising from insidious loss of several mental functions. Memory impairment, decreased motor skills, disturbances in the ability of a person to think or plan abstractly and failure to identify objects are some of the symptoms of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia in which there is gradual loss of many important mental functions. In Alzheimer’s disease, the memory loss is far more severe and grave. For example: the patient may forget the names of his children or where he lived in the past decade. It is rapidly emerging as the most common cause of dementia in the European countries.

Another difference is related to the age of onset which means the time when the earliest signs of the disease were first noticed. The signs of Alzheimer’s disease can be noticed at an early age, starting at 45 years, while dementia is usually seen later in the age group of 70 years and older. Generally, dementia is a disease of senility that is mostly seen in elderly people.

One form of dementia that is often confused with Alzheimer’s disease is the Multi-Infarct Dementia (MID). MID occurs when a clot of blood blocks the small blood vessels of the brain and damages the brain tissue. Symptoms of MID are confusion, problems with the short term memory, roaming and getting lost even in familiar places, loss of bladder and bowel control and emotional problems like crying or laughing during inappropriate times.

To summarize, we can say that dementia is a just a symptom, a clinical manifestation or the sign of underlying disease while Alzheimer’s disease, is the cause of the symptom. A good example of this analogy is “fever” – While the word “fever” refers to an increase in body temperature denoting that the person is sick, it does not give the underlying reason behind it or what caused the sickness. Similarly, dementia means something is wrong with the person’s brain, his memory and cognitive abilities, but it does not furnish any information about the underlying cause. However, while dementia is not considered a disease but a clinical condition, the most common cause of dementia is the Alzheimer’s disease.

In both of these conditions, the patient becomes gradually and increasingly more dependent on others to manage its needs and requirements. For this reason, homecare services are of utmost importance and are an unavoidable component of patient care and the health care system. Homecare companies like Carefect, are in great demand today due to their in-home Alzheimer and dementia care services. If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and you are searching for a reliable homecare services company, Carefect is the perfect homecare services provider for you. Carefect’s vision and goal is to unite home and community and to provide a better environment to the patients, by means of a conjoint effort.