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What Is The Difference Between Alzheimer’s And Senile Dementia

Warning Signs And Symptoms

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The symptoms of dementia range in severity, and they also vary depending on the area of the brain that the condition affects. The most

  • walking around for no apparent reason
  • inappropriate behaviors, such as social and sexual disinhibition

Symptoms can take time to appear, and significant damage may be present before a person visits a doctor. This may make treatment more challenging.

Symptoms Specific To Frontotemporal Dementia

Although Alzheimers disease is still the most common type of dementia in people under 65, a higher percentage of people in this age group may develop frontotemporal dementia than older people. Most cases are diagnosed in people aged 45-65.

Early symptoms of frontotemporal dementia may include:

  • personality changes reduced sensitivity to others feelings, making people seem cold and unfeeling
  • lack of social awareness making inappropriate jokes or showing a lack of tact, though some people may become very withdrawn and apathetic
  • language problems difficulty finding the right words or understanding them
  • becoming obsessive such as developing fads for unusual foods, overeating and drinking

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The Difference Between Alzheimers And Dementia

The word dementia doesnt refer to one specific condition. It actually describes a set of symptoms that result from a deterioration of brain function. These symptoms can include problems with thinking, reasoning, learning, memory and language behavioural and emotional problems and difficulties with daily activities.

It is estimated that there are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. Its more likely to affect older people, but its not an inevitable part of growing old, and its different from the forgetfulness that often comes with ageing.

Unfortunately, theres no cure, and it gets worse over time.

It can be caused by many different conditions. The most common of these conditions and the one youve probably heard of is Alzheimers disease.

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Conditions With Symptoms Similar To Dementia

Remember that many conditions have symptoms similar to dementia, so it is important not to assume that someone has dementia just because some of the above symptoms are present. Strokes, depression, excessive long-term alcohol consumption, infections, hormonal disorders, nutritional deficiencies and brain tumours can all cause dementia-like symptoms. Many of these conditions can be treated.

The Use Of The Word Senile

Senile or Old Dementia

The common use of the word senile loosely references the loss of cognitive abilities or the inability to think clearly. Although still occasionally used, this term has lost its popularity, partly because it has a negative, disrespectful tone, as in, “The old man is senile.”

Senile was used more commonly in the past, especially when memory loss and confusion were thought of, by some, as a normal consequence of getting older. The view used to be that the body and the mind both could be expected to decline together as someone aged, and that poor mental functioning was just a normal part of aging.

An individual was often described as having “senile dementia” or “senile Alzheimer’s,” meaning that the disease and its associated mental decline developed in older age.

Science now understands that significant memory loss, disorientation, and confusion are not normal parts of aging but rather are symptoms of a neurocognitive disorder such as Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, or Lewy body dementia.

Senile is sometimes used to describe the plaques that build up in the brain as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. These senile plaques are often described as one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, along with neurofibrillary tangles.

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Normal Aging Memory Loss Vs Dementia

Memory problems dont always indicate dementia. According to the National Institute on Aging, its perfectly natural to experience age-related memory loss.

Forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. As people get older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain, they advise. As a result, some people may notice that it takes longer to learn new things, they dont remember information as well as they did, or they lose things like their glasses. These usually are signs of mild forgetfulness, not serious memory problems

So how do you tell the difference between normal memory loss due to aging and dementia symptoms? Its not an exact science , but the chart below can help give you an idea of what youre up against.

Normal Aging Memory Loss

Consistently demonstrating poor decision-making skills

Forgetting what day it is

Forgetting what season it is

Searching for the right word to use in conversation

Struggling to maintain a conversation

Forgetting to pay a monthly bill

Experiencing problems with managing finances

Losing a commonly used item, like keys or glasses

Misplacing things frequently and being unable to locate them within the house

Forgetting the name of a recent acquaintance

Forgetting the name of a close friend or family member

Difficulty driving to a new location

Getting lost while driving in familiar places

Typical mood fluctuations consistent with their personality

Dramatic mood swings or changes in personality


How Are They Different

When a person is diagnosed with dementia, they are being diagnosed with a set of symptoms. This is similar to someone who has a sore throat. Their throat is sore but it is not known what is causing that particular symptom. It could be allergies, a common cold or strep throat. Similarly, when someone has dementia they are experiencing symptoms without being told what is causing those symptoms.

Another major difference between the two is that Alzheimers is not a reversible disease. It is degenerative and incurable at this time. Some forms of dementia, such as a drug interaction or a vitamin deficiency, are actually reversible or temporary.

Once a cause of dementia is found, appropriate treatment and counseling can begin. Until a proper diagnosis is made, the best approach to any dementia is communication, engagement and loving care.

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Symptoms In The Later Stages Of Dementia

As dementia progresses, memory loss and difficulties with communication often become severe. In the later stages, the person is likely to neglect their own health, and require constant care and attention.

The most common symptoms of advanced dementia include:

  • memory problems people may not recognise close family and friends, or remember where they live or where they are
  • communication problems some people may eventually lose the ability to speak altogether. Using non-verbal means of communication, such as facial expressions, touch and gestures, can help
  • mobility problems many people become less able to move about unaided. Some may eventually become unable to walk and require a wheelchair or be confined to bed
  • behavioural problems a significant number of people will develop what are known as “behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia”. These may include increased agitation, depressive symptoms, anxiety, wandering, aggression, or sometimes hallucinations
  • bladder incontinence is common in the later stages of dementia, and some people will also experience bowel incontinence
  • appetite and weight loss problems are both common in advanced dementia. Many people have trouble eating or swallowing, and this can lead to choking, chest infections and other problems. Alzheimer’s Society has a useful factsheet on eating and drinking

Treatment And Care Plans For Dementia And Alzheimers

Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Being able to accurately diagnose Alzheimers from other forms of dementia affects treatment plans, insurance coverage, and even care options. In most cases, dementia is irreversible and incurable. However, there are some medications that can help manage the symptoms of dementia and the drugs to treat dementia depend on the type of dementia. For example, there are drugs to make the symptoms of Parkinsons disease more manageable but there is no way to stop or slow the dementia associated with Parkinsons. Having an accurate diagnosis can help medical professionals create a comprehensive care plan.

Alzheimers is a terminal illness and individuals diagnosed with the disease live an average of 4 to 8 years after diagnosis. In the later stages of the disease, home care or moving to a memory care community may become necessary.

While dementia and Alzheimers are related conditions, they have different aspects that are important to recognize, becoming more apparent as the disease progresses. Contact one of our memory care communities today to learn more about Leisure Cares holistic approach to memory care. Our caregiving experts are ready to come alongside your family and walk this road with you.

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But First What Is Dementia

Dementia is the diagnosis of a constellation of symptoms, formerly known as senility or senile dementia. Dementia is a progressive, degenerative condition that for the most part has no cure, although treatments can assuage some of its symptoms and delay its progression.

Influenced by a variety of factors, including genes and overall physical health, the speed with which dementia progresses differs from person to person. Dementia is also referred to as early onset when individuals develop symptoms before age 65.

People with dementia exhibit cognitive physical and behavioral changes that affect their ability to go about their activities of daily living without assistance. Important among those changes is the fact that their ability to create and store new memories or to retrieve old memories becomes more impaired as dementia progresses.

Dementia has varying symptoms, depending on which type of dementia a person has. Some symptoms are common to multiple forms of dementia, while others are quite specific. Over all, dementia patients often have difficulties with many of the following symptoms:

What Is Dementia And What Are The Symptoms

Dementia is the term for a group of symptoms that occur when the brain is damaged by diseases. This includes Alzheimers disease or diseases of the blood vessels that can cause a stroke. These diseases can cause a significant decline in a persons mental abilities or cognitive function our capacity for things like memory, thinking and reasoning.

For a doctor to diagnose dementia, a persons symptoms must have become bad enough to significantly affect their daily life, not just be an occasional minor irritation. This means having new problems with everyday activities about the house, in the community or at work. For example, starting to have problems paying household bills, using the phone, managing medicines, driving safely or meeting up with friends.

If a person has symptoms that are worse than would normally be expected for a healthy person their age, but are not severe enough to significantly affect their daily life, a doctor may diagnose mild cognitive impairment . This is not a type of dementia, though some people who have MCI will go on to develop dementia.

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What Is Difference Between Senility And Dementia

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  • Your local community health centre
  • National Dementia Helpline Dementia Australia Tel. 1800 100 500
  • Aged Care Assessment Services Tel. 1300 135 090
  • My Aged Care 1800 200 422
  • Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics Tel. 1300 135 090
  • Carers Victoria Tel. 1800 242 636
  • Commonwealth Carelink and Respite Centres Australian Government Tel. 1800 052 222
  • Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service Tel. 1800 699 799 for 24-hour telephone advice for carers and care workers

Rem Sleep Behavior Disorder

Pin on Dementia/Alzheimer

LBD: People with LBD sometimes experience REM sleep behavior disorder, a dysfunction where they physically act out the situations in their dreams. Some research suggests that REM sleep behavior disorder can be one of the earlier predictors of LBD.

Alzheimers:REM sleep behavior disorder is not typically present in Alzheimers, although other types of sleep disturbances may occur.

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Difference Between Alzheimers And Senile Dementia

Categorized under Health | Difference Between Alzheimers and Senile Dementia


Old age and the loss of mental faculties are an unfortunate but harsh reality. Alzheimers disease is, perhaps, the most common and debilitating of this type of affliction. However, most people are unaware that Alzheimers disease is only one disease under the larger umbrella that is Senile Dementia. Alzheimers maybe the most infamous, but there are many other forms of this condition.

Senile Dementia can be considered as an all-encompassing term utilized to indicate the deterioration and eventual loss of intellectual acuity related to advanced aging, and is caused by degeneration of ones brain cells. Alzheimers disease is often confused as either the same or alternatively it is often considered to be something entirely different from it. Yes and no yes, Alzheimers disease is a condition that qualifies as Senile Dementia, but Alzheimers is actually one of the forms of it. Other forms of Senile Dementia include Fronto-temporal Dementia, Lewy Body disease, Parkinsons disease, and Vascular Dementia. Alzheimers, meanwhile, is the most common of these. It should also not be confused with normal senility.


Alzheimers Vs Dementia What Is Dementia

Dementia is similar to Alzheimers in that it does result in significant memory loss. However, Dementia refers to the loss of cognitive ability due to no obvious circumstances such as a major injury or trauma. Rather than focusing on the memory portion of the brain, Dementia symptoms focus on multiple areas of the brain including the memory, language and problem solving areas. Like Alzheimers, Dementia is a progressive disease that begins almost unnoticeably and the patients health declines over time. In addition to having difficulty remembering things that are typically considered common knowledge, Dementia patients lose their ability to function in the world by losing the ability to recognize their own language, read, write, or solve basic math problems or tell time.

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The Difference Between Dementia And Senility

When an adult child begins to notice changes in a senior loved one, they might wonder if it is normal aging or something else. Its often hard for families to understand the differences when it comes to aging vs. dementia vs. senility. But there are distinct differences.The Differences Between Dementia and SenilityPeople often mistakenly think that dementia is just another name for Alzheimers disease, and that dementia and senility are one and the same.But dementia is actually a variety of medical conditions and illnesses that impair a persons cognitive health. Alzheimers disease is one type of dementia.Typical dementia symptoms can include memory loss, decline in abstract thought process, loss of verbal communication skills and a change in personality.

There are a number of different types of dementia. A few of the more common ones include:

  • Alzheimers disease accounting for as much as 70 80% of all dementias
  • Parkinsons dementia occurring in the later stages of Parkinsons disease
  • Vascular dementia caused by a stroke or other interruption of blood flow to the brain

Senility, by contrast, is an older term used to describe a decline in an older adults physical and cognitive health. Like dementia, senility can cause changes in mental health, such as memory loss or a decline in judgment.But senility symptoms can also include physical changes such as:

  • Stiff joints
  • Wrinkling of the skin
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Brittle bones or bone loss

Early Stages Of Dementia

Dementia versus Normal Memory Loss

This may appear as simple forgetfulnessmisplacing the checkbook, forgetting someones name, or going into the kitchen to get something and not remembering what that was. Is the problem dementia, or just being overtired or distracted? Arent most folks over 65 a little more forgetful?

In this early stage, patients are still able to live and function independently, although increased contact with family and friends, and some assistance, like weekly housecleaning services, can help. In this way, a trusted caregiver can monitor the patients ability to cope with mild dementia.

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Additional Forms Of Dementia

Patients can be diagnosed with Mixed Dementia, such as having both Alzheimers and Vascular Dementia.In addition, other diseases of the brain can eventually lead to dementia. These include Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Parkinsons, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, Huntingtons Disease, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, Alcoholism, and Picks Disease.

Senile Dementia vs. Old Age Dementia

Health care professionals who use the word dementia are generally referring to Alzheimers or vascular dementia. For caregivers and family members, it is naturally important to confirm the precise diagnosis.

After blood tests, a thorough physical, and memory testing, Mary Francess mother Regina was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Because her husband of sixty plus years had recently passed away, there was some question as to how much of her dementia issues were due to depression.

Stages of Senility, Dementia and Alzheimers Disease

Early Symptoms Of Dementia

Although the early signs vary, common early symptoms of dementia include:

  • memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
  • increasing confusion
  • apathy and withdrawal or depression
  • loss of ability to do everyday tasks.

Sometimes, people fail to recognise that these symptoms indicate that something is wrong. They may mistakenly assume that such behaviour is a normal part of the ageing process. Symptoms may also develop gradually and go unnoticed for a long time. Also, some people may refuse to act, even when they know something is wrong.

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How Do The Symptoms Of Dementia And Alzheimers Compare

There are a really wide range of possible dementia symptoms, but Alzheimers symptoms are a little more specific. Dementia symptoms vary depending on what is causing the dementia, and also vary from one person to the next. The main dementia symptoms fall into three different groups:

  • Difficulties with remembering, thinking and language. The person might be forgetful, repeat questions, struggle to remember words and have conversations, or be disoriented.
  • Difficulties with daily activities. They might struggle with their routine maybe becoming unhygienic or neglecting their home. They might also get lost in familiar places.
  • Emotional and behavioural difficulties. There are a whole range of these, including being withdrawn or apathetic, low or anxious, suspicious of others, or even aggressive. The person could also be restless and have trouble sleeping.

The different causes of dementia may have different symptoms in the early stages. But as the conditions progress, someone is more likely to have the full range of dementia symptoms.

In Alzheimers specifically, the first thing that tends to appear is memory problems. The person might also lose interest in their favourite activities or hobbies. As time goes on, these problems will get worse. The person may get more confused, and struggle to plan and follow instructions. In the later stages of Alzheimers, more serious symptoms like hallucinations, aggression, depression and incontinence can appear.


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