Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, more than 5 million Americans are living with it currently.
Despite its ubiquity, both Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often surrounded by misconceptions and confusion regarding their symptoms, treatments and more. Because dementia and all of its forms impact so many, it is important to understand the disease and know how you can seek help.
So what is dementia, and how does it differ from Alzheimer’s?
“Dementia” is an umbrella term. It develops when nerve cells in the brain die or no longer function normally and can cause changes in the person’s memory, behavior and ability to think clearly. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is always categorized as dementia, however, dementia is not always Alzheimer’s disease.
What are symptoms of dementia?
Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the underlying cause. Dementia is not merely a problem of memory; it reduces the ability to learn, reason, retain or recall past experience. There is also loss of thought patterns, feelings and activities. A person experiencing dementia may have new problems finding the right words to express themselves, misplacing things, feel confusion with time/place or find it difficult to complete familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
How do you diagnose and treat it?
If you suspect that a family member is exhibiting several signs of dementia, a physician evaluation may be necessary to identify the underlying cause and perform further tests. While physicians can usually diagnose dementia, it may be difficult to determine the exact cause. Among the tests the doctor might perform: a thorough medical history; medical status testing; and a complete physical and neurological exam
To learn more about Alzheimer’s and dementia, visit our Guide to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care – or, call The Kenwood by Senior Star at (513) 823-3029 today to schedule your personalized tour of our Memory Care offerings.