Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Dementia is a disease that is characterized by loss of brain abilities, causing decreased cognitive function. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, and affects the memory, thinking and behavior of an estimated 5.4 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease typically start to set in when the patient is over the age of 60. When symptoms such as forgetfulness or thinking problems develop before age 60, it is classified as early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
What is Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a term that describes a wide range of symptoms that are associated with cognitive decline that causes people to lose their ability to think properly. The two most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, which account for 60 to 80 percent of cases, and vascular dementia, a type of memory loss that occurs after a stroke. It is important to note that not all memory problems that occur with age are necessarily dementia. Many seniors have trouble with memory. Dementia is characterized by impaired memory, communication, language, ability to pay attention, reasoning and judgment and visual perception. When an individual is suffering from two or more of these symptoms, a doctor is usually able to diagnose them with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These cognitive diseases are degenerative and progressive, meaning that thinking ability worsens over time. Thanks to the work of a number of research institutions, scientists have determined that some forms of Alzheimer’s are genetic, while others are not. The cause of the disease is not entirely clear, but researchers use the buildup of a plaque in the brain as one target for treatment.
Depression Masking as Dementia
Dementia is a brain disorder; depression is a mood disorder. However, because both share several similar symptoms, a memory screening can be a good first step to identify whether a person is suffering from dementia or depression. Proper care can then improve memory, concentration and energy for those with depression, or improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with dementia.
Axzons Homecare. offers helpful, educational information to understand the differences between depression and dementia.
Depression vs. Dementia in the Elderly
eHow.com explains how to differentiate between depression and dementia by outlining the symptoms; also offers treatment options.
How is Depression in the Elderly Different from Dementia?
Health.com article offers information useful in differentiating depression from dementia in older adults.
In the beginning, an individual may get lost on familiar routes, misplace items or have difficulty performing thinking tasks that used to come easily, such as balancing a checkbook or playing a certain game. They may also lose interest in things they previously enjoyed or show personality changes. Over time, these symptoms will worsen, and they may have difficulty completing basic tasks such as grooming, dressing, preparing meals as well as reading and writing. As the disease progresses, patients may forget details about current events, life events and lose awareness of who they are and who their loved ones are. Eventually, they may not be able to understand language or be able to perform any basic activities of daily living.
While much research is being conducted to understand the disease, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s. However, doctors can prescribe a number of medications to treat certain symptoms. Medications can be prescribed for memory loss symptoms, behavioral changes such as aggression and sleep problems caused by the disease. Many people with Alzheimer’s or dementia require a full-time caregiver as well. This is where Axzons Homecare can play a vital role.
Axzons Dementia Care Helps Patient Suffering With Alzheimer’s or other Dementia By:
Axzons Homecare has extensive expertise in helping individuals and their families live with dementia. In addition to transitioning home after a hospital stay, Axzons can also work with you, your physician and family to customize a program that:
- Provides medication reminders, assistance, administration and reconciliation, as well as behavioral therapy at home if necessary
- Teaches an individual how to recognize early changes in how they feel, and to take appropriate action to decrease episodes of serious illness
- Assists with physician follow up including transportation
- Helps with the daily activities of living such as bathing and dressing and ensuring the patient’s condition with memory affliction is taken care of.
Axzons Homecare’s dementia care standards make us one of the most professional providers of home health care services.
Note: Services available in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Services are provided under the direct supervision of a registered nurse.