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What is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Many people (incorrectly) believe dementia and Alzheimer’s disease describe the same condition. In fact, you may even hear these terms used interchangeably. While there are important similarities, dementia and Alzheimer’s are different. If your elderly family member or aging loved one is currently suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or any other similar condition, it is crucial that you know their condition so that you can best provide high-quality care.

At Personal Health Care, we are proud to provide individuals and families in Phoenixville and Southern Pennsylvania with superior home health care services. Our home health care professionals have extensive experience assisting patients with a wide range of different medical conditions, including both dementia and Alzheimer’s. Here, we explain the differences between these two often confused conditions and we highlight the benefits that fully personalized home health care can offer.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

As defined by the Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer’s is a progressive medical disorder that causes certain brain cells to degenerate and, eventually, to die. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia. In other words, it is possible for a person to have dementia, but not to have Alzheimer’s. Notably, Alzheimer’s disease specifically impacts the portion of the brain that is responsible for thought, language, and memory. This is why the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s tend to be:

  • General forgetfulness;
  • Short-term memory loss;
  • Difficulty in concentrating;
  • Struggling with abstract and complex thinking;
  • A decline in decision-making ability; and
  • Problems with advanced planning.

As the condition gets worse, all of these symptoms will only become more pronounced. For example, early stage Alzheimer’s is often associated with sporadic short-term memory loss. In many cases, it is little more than the repeating of a conversation or a person getting lost in their thoughts. Whereas with late stage Alzheimer’s, a patient may lose the ability to remember names and relationships they have had with their closest loved ones. It is crucial that all patients are able to access the best available Alzheimer’s care.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a more generalized umbrella term that is used to describe advanced cognitive decline. As explained the National Institute on Aging, dementia can best be understood as a reduced mental function or behavioral ability that adversely affects a person’s ability to live a normal day-to-day life.  While Alzheimer’s disease is one form of dementia, there are many others as well. Some of the most notable examples include:

  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease;
  • Huntington’s disease;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Frontal lobe disorder;
  • Vascular dementia;
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome; and
  • Lewy body dementia.

These neurocognitive disorders can present themselves in a number of complex and differing ways. It is critically important that a person who is suffering from any type of dementia is professionally diagnosed so that their individual condition is fully understood. A proper diagnosis will help to ensure that a patient receives the high-quality health care that they rightfully deserve.

Cognitive Decline: The Benefits of Fully Personalized Home Health Care

Many millions of older adults all across the country are dealing with the effects of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or another form of cognitive decline. If you or your loved one needs assistance, we are ready to offer home health care services that are uniquely designed to meet their individual needs. By taking a multidisciplinary approach to home health care, Personal Health Care has gained a reputation as Southeastern Pennsylvania’s most trusted home health care agency. We offer assistance with:

  • Scheduling and transportation;
  • Medication management;
  • Grooming, bathing, meal prep and other activities of daily living;
  • Private duty nursing care; and
  • Much more.

Home health care services should always be personalized to meet the needs of each patient. Whether your loved one is suffering from early stage Alzheimer’s or advanced dementia, our team of compassionate home health care professionals is prepared to craft an individualized treatment plan that will ensure that they are kept safe and are able to live the highest possible quality of life. Providing care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is challenging; we are here to take the pressure off of you and your family.

Get Home Health Care for Alzheimer’s Patients

At Personal Health Care, our team is committed to providing superior home health care services to patients who are dealing with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other similar conditions. To set up a free in-home health care assessment for your loved one, please call us at (610) 933-6130 or contact us online. We serve patients in Phoenixville, Chester County, and throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.

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