dementia, old man thinking,

The Difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Alzheimer’s and dementia are often thought to mean the same thing, but they are actually different in meaning. 

  1. Dementia describes a general group of symptoms that affect a person’s cognitive ability to perform their daily tasks. 
  2. Alzheimer’s is a specific disease that has the symptoms of dementia.  
  3. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, affecting over 6.5 million Americans to date.

 Other common types of dementia that are NOT Alzheimer’s include:

  • Lewy Body dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Vascular dementia

All types of dementia (including Alzheimer’s) are progressive conditions. This means that once your loved one’s brain is affected by any type of dementia, the condition will deteriorate over time. There are no cures for dementia or treatments to reverse the effects. However, studies show that timely intervention and consistent care can help slow down the effects of dementia. 

General symptoms of dementia commonly include the following:

  • Memory Loss
    • Forgetting daily tasks, events, and even people
  • Confusion
    • Unable to recall information like the date, or place
    • Difficulty remembering family members or friends
  • Disorganized thinking
    • Find it challenging to complete multi-step tasks
  • Impaired judgment
    • Impulsive behaviors
  • Disorientation
    • Misplace things easily 
    • Forget how to navigate familiar spaces
  • Difficulty communicating
    • Forget words and phrases
    • Find reading and writing challenging due to limited recall ability

These symptoms also vary depending on the type of dementia, and the stage of the condition. 

The table below outlines the different types of dementia symptoms as they progress from mild, to moderate, and then severe. 

  AlzheimersDementia Lewy Body Dementia VascularDementia FrontotemporalDementia (FTD)

Mild
Mild memory loss Changes in thinking/ reasoning ConfusionDisorientation Prominent behavioral/ personality change


Moderate
DisorientationMood/ behavioral changes Motor skill deterioration (possibility of falls)Confusion Trouble with speechDifficulty balancing and walking Decreasing awareness of social etiquetteApathy towards norms



Severe
Confusion about dates/ times/ eventsParanoiaDifficulty eating/ sleeping/ walking HallucinationsDelusionsSleep disturbance  Stroke-like symptoms including numbness/ paralysisMultiple small strokes occurring regularly Inappropriate behaviour (at times sexual in nature)Verbal outbursts

Caregiving options for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

The progressive nature of dementia requires careful planning for caregiving throughout the progression of the condition. Early intervention in the form of caregiving is recommended because it allows the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia, their family, and the caregiver to become comfortable with one another and plan next steps according to their diagnosis, lifestyle, and symptoms. 

Early intervention can also help slow down the progression of the condition. An experienced caregiver can provide companionship, keep the patient engaged with different activities to stimulate their mental faculties. They can also work with your loved one’s physician to coordinate any treatment plans and oversee physical therapy, if required. 

Caregivers can provide the following services:

  • Light housekeeping
  • Preparing and providing healthy, diet-specific meals
  • Assisting with dressing, toileting, transfers and other daily tasks
  • Overseeing medication schedules
  • Organizing and coordinating any medical appointments (including non-emergency medical transportation to and from)
  • Companionship, emotional support, and liaising with family and doctors to keep everyone on the same page re: you or your loved one’s condition

The 2 main types of care available are hourly and live-in. The table below outlines the different responsibilities and services provided by caregivers in the hourly and live-in care model. 

  Hourly Model Live-in Care Model
Description Hourly care for approximately 6-12 hours (Details)Common option for patients in mild to moderate stages of Dementia and Alzheimer’s 24 hour care (Details)Needed for moderate to severe cases of Dementia and AlzheimerIdeal when loved one lives aloneBeneficial when loved one lives with a spouse who has their own health challenges, creating limited availability of support
Benefits Maintains privacy and independence in the home when the caregiver leaves and it’s family only at home
 Budget friendly during mild/moderate stages. Helps save funds for when disease progresses to a severe state and patient’s care needs are longer/ 24 hours a day
Less expensive as need for coverage increases
Care logistics with night time and weekend coverage are easier for families to schedule, and less expensive to arrange as part of a live-in care mode vs hourly model

Both hourly and live-in care allow the individual with Alzheimer’s or dementia to age in the comfort of their own home. Memory loss is the most common symptom with both Alzheimer’s and dementia. Continuing to live in the familiar surroundings of your own space is very beneficial  in helping someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia feel more comfortable and secure in an environment that they know well.

As explained above, hourly care is when a caregiver comes to your loved ones home for a few hours daily or weekly. This is usually common in earlier stages of diagnosis where the patient is comfortable being on their own for part of the day and can function outside of the home, like driving, etc. 

Live-in care is 24/7 and is usually recommended for moderate to late stages of Alzheimer’s and different types of dementia. As these conditions progress, the symptoms become more acute and patients require around the clock care for their health and safety.  

Care Mountain

At Care Mountain, we have been serving families across the DFW Metroplex, ranging from Frisco, Plano, Allen, McKinney to Preston Hollow, Highland Park, Dallas, Arlington, South Lake and Fort Worth. We have successfully matched caregivers to families for over 17 years. We work with experienced and tenured caregivers who go through an intensive hiring process before matching with our clients. We ensure that our caregivers are experienced in a variety of conditions so that they can provide the specific level of help your loved one requires. Due to the changing nature of these conditions, Care Mountain ensures that your loved one always has the same or consistent caregivers to maintain continuity of care. This is especially helpful for patients who suffer from memory loss or disorientation, as outlined above. 

Contact us today for your caregiving needs!

Co-Authors: Annabelle Harris blogs at Elders Center and Gagan Bhalla at Care Mountain. Annabelle’s goal is to help seniors move gracefully into their golden years with less fear and more confidence. Gagan’s goal at Care Mountain is to provide trusted in-home care services to seniors across the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. Care Mountain has served over 3000 families across DFW over the past 17 years.

Together, Annabelle and the team at Care Mountain bring you a thoughtful, simple, and effective guide to caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s

 

Moving Closer to an Older Loved One: How To Know It’s Time, and What You Can Do To Make the Transition Easier

 

In a phenomenon known as “reverse migration,” more adult children are moving great distances to be closer to aging parents or loved ones. Many middle-aged adults have increasing levels of job flexibility, want a change of scenery, and/or find it easier to move themselves rather than their senior parents. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to relocate to Oceanside, California, to be with your older loved one, it’s important that you do not make the decision rashly. Consider these tips to make your transition as seamless as possible.

 

Make Sure Your Loved One Is Ready for You

It’s presumptuous to assume that just because your mom or dad is older that he or she wants or needs you near. That is not to say that parents do not crave the emotional connection physical closeness can offer — they likely do. However, if you relocate strictly for the purpose of “helping out,” your parents may come to resent your decision.

 

According to studies, older parents crave close connections with their children. However, when those connections come at the expense of their independence, they may resist help. If your motivation for moving is to help, make sure your loved one needs it. Some signs he or she does are:

 

  •       Decline in personal hygiene
  •       Growing stack of unpaid bills
  •       Sadness, loneliness, and depression
  •       Inability to perform daily tasks
  •       Spoiled food or no food in the fridge and kitchen
  •       More frequent in-home injuries

 

If your loved one does not need in-home help and you still want to move closer, make it clear that your motivation is personal. Also, include your parents in the decision and he or she will be more likely to support it.

 

Don’t Feel as If You Have To Do It All

Just because you are moving closer to a senior parent doesn’t mean you have to take on the responsibility of being his or her sole caregiver. One woman who moved into the same assisted living community as her mother said she sees her mom once a week. Her younger sister helps out, as do people who work there.

 

If you don’t have others who can help, consider hiring people who can. For instance, a landscaper can save you hours of caring for your parent’s yard each week. If you do decide to hire a landscaping or any other professional service, do your due diligence. Research landscapers online, gather quotes, and ask about credits and deals.

 

Prepare for Your Move

If you have time to plan for your move, prepare in advance by scouting out neighborhoods and saving up money for moving costs. If you still work, look for jobs in the area. Also, start looking for places to live. If you can, test the waters and get to know the neighborhood by staying with your parent for a week, month, or summer. Also, if you already own a home, you’ll need to prep the property for sale by addressing things like curb appeal, cleaning and decluttering, and repairs.

 

Use that time to assess whether your parent’s situation is still ideal. If it is not, approach the topic with him or her and explore other living situations. One idea is to place a prefab auxiliary dwelling unit on your new property, turning it into an in-law suite. You can also investigate one of the many senior living communities in the area.

 

Moving closer to an older parent is a big commitment, so you want to make sure both of you are ready for it. By following this advice, you can make the transition at the right time and with ease.

 

For over 17 years, Care Mountain has provided award-winning in-home care services to people living in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Learn more about us here.

Co-Authors: Annabelle Harris blogs at Elders Center and Gagan Bhalla at Care Mountain. Annabelle’s goal is to help seniors move gracefully into their golden years with less fear and more confidence. Gagan’s goal at Care Mountain is to provide trusted in-home care services to seniors across the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. Care Mountain has served over 3000 families across DFW over the past 17 years.

Together, Annabelle and the team at Care Mountain bring you a thoughtful, simple, and effective guide to caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s

 

Moving Closer to an Older Loved One: How To Know It’s Time, and What You Can Do To Make the Transition Easier

 

In a phenomenon known as “reverse migration,” more adult children are moving great distances to be closer to aging parents or loved ones. Many middle-aged adults have increasing levels of job flexibility, want a change of scenery, and/or find it easier to move themselves rather than their senior parents. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to relocate to Oceanside, California, to be with your older loved one, it’s important that you do not make the decision rashly. Consider these tips to make your transition as seamless as possible.Make Sure Your Loved One Is Ready for You

t’s presumptuous to assume that just because your mom or dad is older that he or she wants or needs you near. That is not to say that parents do not crave the emotional connection physical closeness can offer — they likely do. However, if you relocate strictly for the purpose of “helping out,” your parents may come to resent your decision.

 

According to studies, older parents crave close connections with their children. However, when those connections come at the expense of their independence, they may resist help. If your motivation for moving is to help, make sure your loved one needs it. Some signs he or she does are:

  •       Decline in personal hygiene
  •       Growing stack of unpaid bills
  •       Sadness, loneliness, and depression
  •       Inability to perform daily tasks
  •       Spoiled food or no food in the fridge and kitchen
  •       More frequent in-home injuries

If your loved one does not need in-home help and you still want to move closer, make it clear that your motivation is personal. Also, include your parents in the decision and he or she will be more likely to support it.Don’t Feel as If You Have To Do It AllJust because you are moving closer to a senior parent doesn’t mean you have to take on the responsibility of being his or her sole caregiver. One woman who moved into the same assisted living community as her mother said she sees her mom once a week. Her younger sister helps out, as do people who work there.If you don’t have others who can help, consider hiring people who can. For instance, a landscaper can save you hours of caring for your parent’s yard each week. If you do decide to hire a landscaping or any other professional service, do your due diligence. Research landscapers online, gather quotes, and ask about credits and deals.Prepare for Your MoveIf you have time to plan for your move, prepare in advance by scouting out neighborhoods and saving up money for moving costs. If you still work, look for jobs in the area. Also, start looking for places to live. If you can, test the waters and get to know the neighborhood by staying with your parent for a week, month, or summer. Also, if you already own a home, you’ll need to prep the property for sale by addressing things like curb appeal, cleaning and decluttering, and repairs.

Use that time to assess whether your parent’s situation is still ideal. If it is not, approach the topic with him or her and explore other living situations. One idea is to place a prefab auxiliary dwelling unit on your new property, turning it into an in-law suite. You can also investigate one of the many senior living communities in the area.Moving closer to an older parent is a big commitment, so you want to make sure both of you are ready for it. By following this advice, you can make the transition at the right time and with ease.

For over 17 years, Care Mountain has provided award-winning in-home care services to people living in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Learn more about us here.

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