Memory Care for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients – Are They Different?

Dementia and Alzheimer’s are typically used interchangeably as they are believed to mean the same. However, there are some factors that can make them unique from each other. This means that memory care for individuals who have dementia will differ from those who have Alzheimer’s, too. NIA (National Institute on Aging) described dementia as a brain condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate, as well as the way they perform their daily activities. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is a type of dementia that affects a specific area of the brain where language, memory, and thoughts are controlled.

A series of symptoms like impaired memory and thinking may fall under dementia, too, which is often linked with the decline of cognitive function as the person ages. However, other issues besides Alzheimer’s can lead to it, such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. The Center for Disease Control found Alzheimer’s to be one of the common causes for dementia, accounting for as much as 50 to 70 percent of all cases. Symptoms include impaired speech and confusion. Brain scans, evaluation of the mental status, and blood tests can help doctors determine the cause of the condition.

When differentiating memory care for Alzheimer’s and dementia, professional healthcare providers consider the former as irreversible, incurable, and degenerative for now. Certain forms of dementia may be temporary or reversible, such as those caused by vitamin deficiency or drug abuse.

Memory care for these conditions will vary depending on their progression or advancement. Some forms of care are designed to prevent wandering, a common symptom of dementia. This is why memory care facilities take time to understand the needs of your loved one who may have dementia or Alzheimer’s. That way, they can provide a customized plan that can let your loved one stay as engaged and active as possible, while living in a supervised, safe, and dignified place.