Building blocks spelling out Dementia

What’s The Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

10 Mar 2021

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are often used interchangeably, but unknown to many, there is actually a difference to the meaning of these terms.

In this blog we will explain what each terms means to help you to understand their differences.

What is Dementia?

While many people may refer to dementia as a disease, it is medically referred to as a syndrome, or a group of symptoms that impact brain function over time. Symptoms often start small but over time, they have the potential to impact an individuals ability to carry out day to day tasks safely and independently.

Dementia is generally more common amongst individuals over the age of 65 and while there are “risk factors” which can be attributed to the onset, it is very difficult to confirm which factors led to the development.

Factors known to cause the onset of dementia include;

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • A stroke
  • Traumatic head or brain injury
  • Reduced oxygen supply to the brain

Dementia can also be a symptom of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects the brain, and leads to dementia. It occurs when an abnormal build of proteins, called plaques and tangles, build up inside the brain, sometimes over a number of years. The disruption caused by these proteins affects nerve cells and causes them to die.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease. This means it gradually gets worse over time. At the moment, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s although there are treatments available in some areas that can make symptoms more manageable, or slow progression.

What Are The Differences Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

The biggest difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s is that dementia is a general term to describe a set of symptoms which interferes with day-to-day tasks. Alzheimer’s on the other hand is a specific disease which is the leading cause of dementia.

Getting Help and Support Caring for Someone with Dementia at Home

At Hands on Care, we regularly meet families who are concerned about a loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, it is hugely important that you speak to a medical professional for a formal diagnosis. This will ensure that symptoms can be managed appropriately as soon as possible.

Whether you are at the start of your diagnosis or you have been living with dementia for some time, we offer personal home care services to support you. Our services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for elderly people living with dementia across Telford, Shrewsbury, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Wolverhampton. You can read more about how we can help you with living with dementia at home here.

Call 01952 743490 today to see how we can help you and your loved ones.

You can also find more helpful resources online from the following sources:

Alzheimer’s Society

Dementia Friends

Dementia UK

Hands on Care Homecare Services Limited
United House,
Tern Hill,
Market Drayton,
TF9 3PX,
01952 743490