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  • Saturday, August 18 2018

Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease Care Service

You are not alone. We can help care for your loved one at home, giving you the support you need. The words Alzheimer's and dementia are often used interchangeably. Dementia is a syndrome and Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.
Dementia is not a specific disease. Instead, dementia describes a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning. When someone is told they have Alzheimer's or dementia, it means they have significant memory problems as well as other cognitive and behavioral issues.
Alzheimer’s disease causes most of the time dementia.

Contrary to what some people may think, dementia is not a less severe problem, with Alzheimer's disease being a more severe problem.

There is great confusion about the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia.

Briefly, dementia is a syndrome, and Alzheimer's is the cause of the symptom. The Difference between Alzheimer's and Dementia A good analogy to the term dementia is "fever"
Fever refers to an elevated temperature, indicating that a person is sick. However, it does not give any information about what is causing the sickness.
In the same way, dementia means that there is something wrong with a person’s brain, but it does not provide any information about what is causing the memory or cognitive difficulties.
In many parts of the world, the words Alzheimer's and dementia are used interchangeably.

Dementia is not a disease - it is the clinical presentation or symptoms of a disease.

There are many possible causes of dementia. Some causes are reversible, such as certain thyroid conditions or vitamin deficiencies.

If these underlying problems are identified and treated, then the dementia reverses and the person can return to normal functioning. However, most causes of dementia are not reversible. Rather, they are degenerative diseases of the brain that get worse over time. The most common cause of dementia is AD, accounting for as many as 70-80% of all cases of dementia.

Confusion on the part of family and friends

The confusion is felt on the part of patients, family members, the media, and even health care providers.

  • “Dementia” is a term that has replaced a more out-of-date word, “senility,” to refer to cognitive changes with advanced age.
  • Dementia includes a group of symptoms, the most prominent of which is memory difficulty with additional problems in at least one other area of cognitive functioning, including language, attention, problem solving, spatial skills, judgment, planning, or organization.
  • These cognitive problems are a noticeable change compared to the person’s cognitive functioning earlier in life and are severe enough to get in the way of normal daily living, such as social and occupational activities
  • Contrary to what some people may think, dementia is not a less severe problem, with AD being a more severe problem.
  • There is not a continuum with dementia on one side and AD at the extreme. Rather, there can be early or mild stages of AD, which then progress to moderate and severe stages of the disease.
  • One reason for the confusion about dementia and AD is that it is not possible to diagnose AD with 100% accuracy while someone is alive. Rather, AD can only truly be diagnosed after death, upon autopsy when a specialized doctor referred to as a neuropathologist carefully examines the brain tissue.
  • During life, a patient can be diagnosed with “probable AD.” This term is used by doctors and researchers to indicate that, based on the person’s symptoms, the course of the symptoms, and the results of various tests, it is very likely that the person will show pathological features of AD when the brain tissue is examined following death.

Basics of Alzheimers and Dementia

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.

Alzheimer's worsens over time. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer's, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer's live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions.

Alzheimer's has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer's treatments cannot stop Alzheimer's from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer's and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem solving or language. These symptoms occur when certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, damage the brain. This page describes the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, how it is diagnosed, and the factors that can put someone at risk of developing it. It also describes the treatments and support that are currently available.

Alzheimer's disease, named after the doctor who first described it (Aloes Alzheimer), is a physical disease that affects the brain. There are more than 520,000 people in the UK with Alzheimer's disease. During the course of the disease, proteins build up in the brain to form structures called 'plaques' and 'tangles'. This leads to the loss of connections between nerve cells, and eventually to the death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue. People with Alzheimer's also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brain. These chemical messengers help to transmit signals around the brain. When there is a shortage of them, the signals are not transmitted as effectively. As discussed below, current treatments for Alzheimer's disease can help boost the levels of chemical messengers in the brain, which can help with some of the symptoms.

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease. This means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, more symptoms develop. They also become more severe.

At Home Health Solutions Group, we understand the struggles families face when caring for an elder, older adult or senior with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, and we are here to help. Our caregivers receive special training to care for elders, older adults and seniors with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and we are trained and dedicates in providing the highest quality care to support families during this difficult time. We understand Alzheimer's disease, its symptoms, how it affects behavior, and that it progresses at different rates for different elder, older adults and seniors. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or a related dementia, you are not alone. The Alzheimer's Association is the trusted resource for reliable information, education, referral and support to millions of people affected by the disease.

We understand what families are going through and we are here to help. Contact your representative at Home Health Solutions Group

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