Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeAlzheimerHow To Tell Dementia From Alzheimer's

How To Tell Dementia From Alzheimer’s

How To Tell What Stage Of Dementia Someone Is In

What is dementia? Alzheimer’s Research UK

It can be difficult to tell exactly what stage of dementia someone is in. At times, doctors may need to do in-depth evaluations to determine the stage of dementia their patient is in. However, in other cases, it can be quite obvious to what stage the patient is in. Are you or a home care provider going to bring your elderly loved one in to be assessed for dementia? If so, there are some things you can tell the doctor about your loved one that can help them diagnose the stage of dementia they are in.

Key Differences Between Alzheimer’s And Dementia

Dementia is a generalized term that is used to describe a decline in mental acuity and memory, that has a negative impact on activities of daily life. There are several types of Dementia, the most common type is known as Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s develops in around 60-80% of all Dementia cases, and the speed of progression varies widely from person to person. It is important to note that even though all Alzheimer’s cases start as Dementia, not all Dementia cases will result in Alzheimer’s.

Dementia includes both long-term and short-term memory loss, difficulties with thinking, rationalizing, making decisions, problem-solving, and verbally communicating. There can also be changes in mood or behaviors.

Dementia can be caused by many things including, stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, certain medications, or exposure to certain substances like alcohol. Because we know some of the causes, the progression of some forms of Dementia can be slowed or stopped.

Alzheimer’s however, is a degenerative type of Dementia that has no known cause . Alzheimer’s is not reversible, and not much is known in regards to slowing its progression, which can take months to years.

Contact Your Gp Surgery

If youre worried about your memory, or about someone else, the first thing to do is make an appointment with the GP.

Your GP can take the next steps to get you the support and treatment you need, including checking for other conditions that might be causing your symptoms.

The thought of being told you have dementia is frightening. It can be difficult to talk to other people about your symptoms and how youre feeling. But doing this will help to get answers and any support you need.

Find out more about getting a diagnosis from your GP.

Recommended Reading: How Does Alzheimer’s Lead To Death

Stage : Mild Cognitive Impairment

Clear cognitive problems begin to manifest in stage 3. A few signs of stage 3 dementia include:

  • Getting lost easily
  • Noticeably poor performance at work
  • Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
  • Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
  • Losing or misplacing important objects
  • Difficulty concentrating

Patients often start to experience mild to moderate anxiety as these symptoms increasingly interfere with day to day life. Patients who may be in this stage of dementia are encouraged to have a clinical interview with a clinician for proper diagnosis.

What Should I Expect As Dementia Progresses

What is Lewy Body Dementia??

Most forms of dementia are incurable and get worse over time. Although your loved one could be mostly independent for a while, theyll eventually need assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and cooking. Its also important to remember that their safety could become a concern.

If you anticipate their needs increasing, home care supports families while enabling seniors to continue living at home for as long as possible. Remaining in a familiar place can be especially helpful for people with dementia.

In later stages of dementia, living at home may no longer be an option. Memory care communities are a specialized type of senior living designed to meet the unique needs of someone experiencing memory loss or cognitive decline.

You May Like: How Many People Have Alzheimer’s

Sky Sports Hayley Mcqueen Welcomes Leadership To Find Answers

A new report launched today from Alzheimers Research UK and The Health Policy Partnership, supported by leading UK sporting bodies including the FA, and RFU and dementia experts, outlines four research priorities to help address knowledge gaps surrounding the links between sport, physical activity and long-term brain injury. Alzheimers Research UK will be investing £500,000 in kick starting action against the priorities, which include establishing a consortium with research teams and funders worldwide and widening research into the links beyond elite male sport players.

Dementia is a condition that affects nearly one million people in the UK. Recently there has been a focus on individual high profile dementia cases within the sporting community.

Researchers have found that some ex-professional sports players are at increased risk of developing dementia, but there has been limited evidence to determine why this is the case, whether the risk applies to other populations, and how the risk could be addressed.

The four priorities laid out in the report are:

  • Establish an international research consortium with research teams and funders around the world.
  • Develop a panel of biomarkers in measures including brain scanning, blood, and saliva to improve diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries and dementia.
  • Conduct long-term studies that monitor different groups of people for decades to understand lifetime risks and benefits.
  • Alzheimer’s Vs Dementia: How To Tell The Difference

    Forgetfulness is a common and normal part of the aging process. However, the varying degrees of memory loss that encompass a Dementia diagnosis is not a normal part of aging. Although it is relatively uncommon, Dementia affects 5-8% of the American population. Becoming familiar with Dementia is a great thing, especially if you or a loved one are reaching your Golden Years.

    Some types of memory loss can progress further into degenerative diseases. People will often use the terms Alzheimer’s and Dementia interchangeably when speaking about these progressive memory-related diseases. In reality, these two diseases are related, yet completely different from one another, requiring completely separate treatment paths. In the early stages, it can be difficult to discern one from another. Knowing what the key differences are and what to watch out for will help you or your loved one get a diagnosis and proper interventions sooner.

    You May Like: Does Anesthesia Cause Dementia In The Elderly

    Getting Help For Dementia & Alzheimers In Ca & Nv

    Dementia at any level of severity is a very overwhelming and frustrating experience for both the person suffering from it, as well as their family and close friends. Although there is no cure yet for some types of Dementia, early intervention is linked to slower progression and better quality of life. Mental health support is a key component of treatment for Dementia in all its forms and stages. In addition to the person experiencing symptoms, the families of those suffering from either Alzheimer’s or Dementia also need support.

    If you or a loved one is in the California or Nevada areas and you think may be experiencing the symptoms of Dementia, reach out to us by phone or text at 624-5400, or by filling out our online contact form. Medens Health can help you with comprehensive screening assessments and licensed mental health providers who are ready to guide and support you through the process.

    What Are The Main Types Of Dementia

    How to Talk to Someone With Dementia

    Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for around 2 out of every 3 of cases in older people. Vascular dementia is another common form, while dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia are less common.

    It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time. Alzheimers is sometimes seen with vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. You might hear this called mixed dementia.

    The symptoms of dementia vary depending on the disease, or diseases, causing it. You can read more about the symptoms associated with different types of dementia on the Alzheimers Society website .

    You May Like: Does Sister Monica Joan Have Dementia

    Having A Hard Time Managing Money

    One of the classic early signs of Alzheimers disease is an increasing difficulty with money management. This might start off as having trouble balancing a checkbook or keeping up with expenses or bills, but as the disease progresses, poor financial decisions are often made across the board.

    Though many people brush off this symptom as a normal part of aging, they shouldnt. We tend to associate aging with losing your mind. Thats not healthy aging its a disease, emphasizes Rankin.

    We All Forget A Name Or A Face Sometimes Especially As We Get Older But The Changes Caused By Dementia Are Different And More Serious

    Symptoms of dementia can include problems with planning and decision-making, language, and sometimes changes in mood or behaviour.

    These changes in mental abilities may be small to start with, but become more noticeable. It’s important to know the difference between normal ageing and dementia.

    Dementia doesnt just affect older people. Over 42,000 people under 65 in the UK have dementia. This is called young-onset dementia.

    Also Check: Why Is It Important To Know About Alzheimer Disease

    Although There Is No Cure For Dementia Yet Scientists And Researchers Are Working Hard To Find One

    Support and treatments are available to allow people with dementia to lead active lives and carry on doing the things that matter to them most.

    There are medicines for some types of dementia that can ease symptoms for a while, or slow down their progression, in some people.

    Other non-drug approaches that can help with symptoms of dementia include:

    • cognitive stimulation, which might involve doing word puzzles or discussing current affairs
    • life story work, sharing memories and experiences with a carer or nurse to create a life story book
    • keeping as active as possible physically, mentally and socially which can boost memory and self esteem, and help avoid depression.

    Not Understanding What Objects Are Used For


    Now and again, most people find themselves desperately searching for the right word. In fact, failing to find the word youre thinking of is surprisingly common and not necessarily a sign of dementia, says Rankin. But losing knowledge of objects not just what they are called but also what theyre used for is an early dementia symptom. Oddly enough, people who are losing this knowledge can be very competent in other areas of their lives.

    Recommended Reading: What Race Is Most Likely To Get Alzheimer Disease

    Struggling To Adapt To Change

    For someone in the early stages of dementia, the experience can cause fear. Suddenly, they cant remember people they know or follow what others are saying. They cant remember why they went to the store, and they get lost on the way home.

    Because of this, they might crave routine and be afraid to try new experiences. Difficulty adapting to change is also a typical symptom of early dementia.

    Tips For Caregivers: Taking Care Of Yourself

    Being a caregiver can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming. Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia takes time and effort. It can feel lonely and frustrating. You might even feel angry, which could be a sign you are trying to take on too much. It is important to find time to take care of yourself. Here are some tips that may offer some relief:

    • Ask for help when you need it. This could mean asking family members and friends to help or reaching out to for additional care needs.
    • Eat nutritious foods, which can help keep you healthy and active for longer.
    • Join a caregiver’s support group online or in person. Meeting other caregivers will give you a chance to share stories and ideas and can help keep you from feeling isolated.
    • Take breaks each day. Try making a cup of tea or calling a friend.
    • Spend time with friends and keep up with hobbies.
    • Get exercise as often as you can. Try doing yoga or going for a walk.
    • Try practicing meditation. Research suggests that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, anxiety and depression, and insomnia.
    • Consider seeking help from mental health professionals to help you cope with stress and anxiety. Talk with your doctor about finding treatment.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Drive With Vascular Dementia

    Eating Nonfood Objects And Rancid Foods

    One surprising early sign of dementia is eating nonfood objects or foods that are rancid or spoiled. This is partly because the person forgets what to do with the things in front of them. For example, people with dementia might try to eat a flower from a vase on a restaurant table because they know they are there to eat but dont know what the flower is doing there, says Rankin.

    Unlike some other Alzheimers symptoms or dementia symptoms, this one has few other likely explanations.

    Tips For Home Safety For People With Dementia

    How to tell the difference between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

    As a caregiver or family member to a person with Alzheimers or related dementias, you can take steps to make the home a safer place. Removing hazards and adding safety features around the home can help give the person more freedom to move around independently and safely. Try these tips:

    • If you have stairs, make sure there is at least one handrail. Put carpet or safety grip strips on stairs, or mark the edges of steps with brightly colored tape so they are more visible.
    • Insert safety plugs into unused electrical outlets and consider safety latches on cabinet doors.
    • Clear away unused items and remove small rugs, electrical cords, and other items the person may trip over.
    • Make sure all rooms and outdoor areas the person visits have good lighting.
    • Remove curtains and rugs with busy patterns that may confuse the person.
    • Remove or lock up cleaning and household products, such as paint thinner and matches.

    Recommended Reading: What To Do When Dementia Patients Become Violent

    At What Age Do Alzheimers And Dementia Symptoms Start

    Initial symptoms of Alzheimers disease commonly occur in patients who are in their mid-60s, though early onset cases can begin in patients as young as in their 30s.

    For dementia, most patients experience their first symptoms in their 60s, however this may be preceded by other cognitive changes in the 30s, 40s or 50s.

    What Age Does Dementia Start

    Typically, dementia symptoms occur after age 65, and the risk of dementia increases with age. Though rare, even people in their 30s can start showing signs of Alzheimers, according to the National Institute on Aging. The age when someone can get dementia also varies depending on the type theyre experiencing.

    Here are the age ranges of when some common forms of dementia are typically diagnosed.

    • Alzheimers disease: Mid-60s
    • Frontotemporal dementia: Between 45 and 64
    • Lewy body dementia: After age 50
    • Vascular dementia: Over age 65

    If someone gets Alzheimers before their mid-60s, its considered to be early-onset dementia. The signs of early-onset dementia are similar to typical symptoms of dementia.

    Also Check: What Shampoos Cause Alzheimer’s Disease And Cancer

    Watch Recordings Of The Alzheimers Show 2022 Live Seminar Programme

    If you would like more information on a wide rage of topics to help you support those you care for, watch the recordings of our expert speakers, leading specialists, carers and people living with dementia from the two day event cover a wide range of topics including research, behaviour, practical tips for being a carer, sleep disturbance, communication, end of life care and first-hand experiences of life with dementia plus much more.

    A total of 41 videos are available to view for 3 months, each featuring the powerpoint presentation and voice over of the speaker. All are CPD Accredited scan the QR code on the CPD video to access certificate.

    How Long Will A Person With Dementia Live For

    Understanding Different Types of Dementia

    Dementia is a life-limiting condition, but it is very difficult to know how long someone with dementia will live for. This depends on many factors.

    If the person also has another life-limiting condition , it may be clearer how long they may live for and how they will die.

    A person may die from another condition at any stage of having dementia. Because of this, they may die before their dementia symptoms become very advanced.

    A person in the later stages of dementia may get worse slowly over many months. During this time they will usually:

    • become more frail
    • have more frequent falls or infections
    • have problems eating, drinking and swallowing
    • be more likely to need urgent medical care
    • become less mobile
    • sleep more
    • talk less often.

    A person in the later stages of dementia is likely to have a weak immune system. This means they have a higher risk of getting infections, which in some cases can last for a long time. One of the most common causes of death for people with dementia is pneumonia caused by an infection.

    A person in the later stages of dementia may have symptoms that suggest that they are close to death, but can sometimes live with these symptoms for many months. This uncertainty makes it very difficult to plan and put things in place for the end of someones life.

    Recommended Reading: How Does Open Spaces Affect Someone With Dementia

    Inappropriate Behavior And Loss Of Empathy

    If someone who is usually sweet, considerate, and polite starts to say insulting or inappropriate things and shows no awareness of their inappropriateness or concern or regret about what theyve said they could be exhibiting an early sign of dementia. In the early stages of some types of dementia, symptoms can include losing the ability to read social cues and, therefore, the ability to understand why its not acceptable to say hurtful things.

    A Person With Dementia Can Feel Confused When They Get Something Wrong They May Feel Annoyed And Angry They Might Feel Upset With Other People Too They May Not Know They Are Upset And Can’t Descibe Why They Feel Like That

    Everyone feels confused sometimes. Its the feeling you get when things dont make sense, or you dont know what you should be doing.

    If someone seems angry with you, it can feel horrible. Remember that its not your fault, and its not their fault. It happens because the persons brain is not well. They may not be able to control how they feel any more. They may not know they are upsetting you.

    People with dementia can still have nice feelings too. They can feel happy, safe and calm. Some people with dementia may seem like their usual self a lot of the time and you may only notice small changes every now and then.

    Some people with dementia may not have as many good days. Those days when they do feel more like their old self can be very special.

    Everyone with dementia is different. Dont be afraid to ask questions. If the person you know has not been ill for very long, they may be able to tell you what dementia feels like for them. A person who has had dementia for longer may not be able to tell you how they feel. But you can often see when they are feeling happy, safe and calm.

    Recommended Reading: Does Willie Nelson Have Dementia


    Most Popular