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Dementia and Alzheimer’s: Understanding the Difference

While many people use “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s disease” interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Dementia is an umbrella term that includes many diseases impacting memory, the ability to perform daily tasks, and communication skills; Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

No form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is considered a normal part of aging. And, while the symptoms of these two may overlap in many areas, it is important to distinguish between them to manage care and treatment better. At memory care communities like Anthology of Meridian Hills the exact details of a patient’s needs and challenges are important in creating an individualized, comprehensive care plan for that person. At Anthology Senior Living, we are committed to making the next chapter meaningful and supporting your goals for your health, your family, and your life.

 

Dementia vs Alzheimer’s Disease

The first signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease may not offer any insights into what exactly lies ahead. These diseases vary from person to person in terms of how quickly they progress and what faculties are most impacted. If you have questions or concerns, doctors and medical professionals can be an excellent resource. If dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are discussed during that conversation, here is some important information to differentiate between the two:

Dementia
The term “dementia” describes a set of symptoms that are associated with a decline in memory and/or reasoning skills. Dementia is caused by damage to the brain cells that affects the patient’s ability to think, feel and communicate. There are many types of dementia, including mixed dementia, which is a condition where multiple types of dementia occur simultaneously. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and accounts for up to 80 percent of dementia cases.

At Anthology of Stonebridge Ranch memory care activities and programming for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients are available through iN2L, a technology specially designed to provide person-centered engagement and to support activity and wellness initiatives. This technology connects residents with their families, friends, hobbies and health care team members, while allowing them to remain in a safe environment and receive the support they need to stay active and healthy.

Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease caused by complex changes to the brain after cell damage. This disease presents with dementia symptoms which grow worse over time. Difficulty remembering new information is one of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. As the disease advances, Alzheimer’s patients will present with more severe symptoms, including confusion, behavioral changes and disorientation. Most people with Alzheimer’s disease are 65 years old or older.

Memory care at Anthology of Simsbury incorporates the emotional, mental and physical health of the resident into an individualized care plan. Through education and specialized training programs, the team at Anthology Senior Living understands the importance of living life to the fullest. To keep our residents engaged and active, Anthology of Simsbury offers:

Transportation for shopping, dining, appointments and outings
Fitness, exercise and wellness programs
On-site meals supervised by a registered dietician
A Theater, where residents can enjoy a movie
Community activity and game rooms

 

Finding Safe and Trustworthy Care

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are treatments that may slow the progression of the disease and there are many care options that can help those living with the disease to retain their independence for longer and continue in activities they enjoy.

One of the most important aspects of facing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis is focusing on the patient's safety. There are ways to keep a loved one with Alzheimer’s safe at home; however, many families feel the best and safest option is to move their loved one to a professional memory care community. Communities that offer dedicated memory care suites and neighborhoods are excellent for families interested in this option.

All the Anthology Senior Living memory care communities provide this type of dedicated environment with experienced, comprehensive care delivered with respect. Families play a large role in our care programs, and our ultimate goal is the health and happiness of the entire family. At Anthology Town and Country the staff is certified in the Alzheimer’s Association CARES® EssentiALZ® program. They keep residents safe by providing:

Assistance with activities of daily living, including bathing and dining
Medication management
Care team members are on-site 24/7
Regular observation of each resident’s behavior and needs
Close partnership with specialized health care providers

 

Looking Ahead

When considering memory care, it is important to understand the differences between communities. Communities like Anthology of Charlottesville and all the Anthology Memory Care communities utilize innovative wellness programs with a specially trained and dedicated care team at your service. In addition, they have fitted all of their indoor and outdoor spaces with safety measures, keeping them secure at all times.

At most of our Anthology Senior Living memory care communities, transportation is available for medical appointments and outings, along with everyday escorts to meals and events as needed. We keep our residents as active and engaged as they desire while including family and friends all along the way. Anthology’s Virtue Memory Care Neighborhoods are specifically designed to support your loved one’s body, mind, and spirit. From the artwork to the landscaping, there is a feeling of home at every turn. In addition, the hand-curated memory displays outside each resident’s suite feature personal items and photographs to help add to the sense of safety and familiarity.

Do you have questions about our communities? The team at Anthology Senior Living has answers! Contact us today to learn more about our communities, our programs and how we support our residents and their families. Wondering if there is a community near you?

Visit our community finder to learn about all our locations!