Elder Care Awareness: Is All Dementia Alzheimer's Disease?

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 4/7/2016 3:38 PM by Interim HealthCare

Elder Care in Ogden UT

Whether you are just getting started on your elder care journey or you have been a caregiver for many years, you have almost definitely heard a considerable amount about dementia. This is a concept that often goes hand-in-hand with the thought of caring for aging adults, even though not all seniors develop it. Because of the pervasive nature of the topic of dementia, there are many misconceptions that tend to float around care communities. These misconceptions can make it difficult for you to ensure that you get the right care and treatment for your elderly parent after a diagnosis of dementia. 
 
One of the most common misconceptions is that if a person has "dementia" that automatically means "Alzheimer's disease". This is not at all the case. While all people who have Alzheimer's disease have dementia, all people who have dementia most certainly do not have Alzheimer's disease. It is important to realize that "dementia" is not in of itself a disease. Rather, it is a term used to describe the symptoms of a disease and the impact of that disease. Doctors use this term to discuss any time there is a decline in a person's mental capabilities that is so significant it impacts that person's normal daily life.  
 
As a caregiver, some things that you should know about dementia and its impact include: 
 
• The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. This one cause accounts for up to 80 percent of cases of dementia 
 
• Dementia is not a normal part of aging and is not something that all older people will have to contend with in life. It should not be normalized through the reference of it as "senility" 
 
• The second most common form of dementia is vascular dementia. This is dementia that occurs following a stroke. Unlike with Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia is not necessarily a lifelong diagnosis. Some people are able to recover with proper treatment 
 
• Conditions that include dementia as a symptom or are considered a type of dementia include Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson's disease, and thyroid conditions. For several conditions, the impact of the dementia is reversible if properly managed 
 
• Memory loss is not the only symptom of dementia. People with dementia can also experience other cognitive symptoms including communication issues, visual perception challenges, having difficulty paying attention, and having language challenges 
 
As with many conditions, early detection is key. The sooner that your elderly parent receives a diagnosis of dementia, regardless of the cause or type, the more likely she is to respond to treatment and management. This starts with knowing the cause of the dementia so that she can get on proper treatment. With early intervention and a personalized approach to care, most people with dementia are capable of carrying on healthy, happy lives. Even those with progressive forms that are in moderate stages can continue living engaged, happy lifestyles with the help of a family caregiver and elderly health care services provider. 

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home elder care in Ogden UT, contact the caring staff at Interim Healthcare. Call today (801) 206-9366.

SOURCES: 
http://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp 
https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/dementias/types-dementia 
 
Author:

Brenda Funk, CSA,  Owner, Interim HealthCare, Ogden, UT

Brenda Funk, owner of Interim HealthCare of Ogden, is an active member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors, the world's largest organization dedicated to certifying professionals who serve seniors. Additionally, Brenda holds the designation of Certified Senior Advisor.
"My father recently passed away after fighting Parkinson's disease for over a decade. Although my mother was his primary care giver, the additional in-home support provided by caregivers to her, my father and our family was priceless. We couldn't have managed the difficult journey without their compassionate and professional support. This experience, coupled with my own innate desire to help those in need, has led me to establish the business and join the Interim HealthCare family as a franchisee."

- Brenda Funk, CSA
 

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