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The Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

While the terms Alzheimer’s and dementia are sometimes considered interchangeable, this is not the case. Dementia is a general term for a set of symptoms affecting the brain, but it is not a specific disease or condition. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is a very specific condition affecting memory and other cognitive functions as it progresses. Today, Annapolis Home Care Assistance is going to talk about dementia and Alzheimer’s, helping families better understand how to care for aging parents and loved ones with these memory-related conditions.


Think of dementia as a broad category. It is a large umbrella that encompasses Alzheimer’s disease as one of the specific conditions falling under the heading of dementia. The National Institute on Aging defines dementia as a brain disorder affecting communication and performance of daily activities, and is generally associated with cognitive decline that occurs with age. Dementia, other than Alzheimer’s, may be the result of:

  • Cognitive impairment that’s sometimes associated with Parkinson’s disease
  • Side effects of certain medication(s)
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid secretion)
  • Subdural hematoma (accumulation of blood underneath the outside covering of the brain)

Home Care Assistance specializes in dementia home care in Annapolis, and has highly trained and compassionate dementia caregivers who are on hand 24/7 to help seniors maintain regular routines, independence and quality of life. Our dementia caregivers better manage symptoms associated with the disease to help ensure safety and comfort at home.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a specific condition that happens to be classified under the category of dementia. While patients with some forms of dementia may recover or experience less severe symptoms over time, patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s do not get better since there is no cure at this time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition with a set of stages with symptoms that become more pronounced as the disease advances.

For additional information about caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s, learn more about specialty memory and Alzheimer’s home care in Annapolis, provided by Home Care Assistance. Our highly trained caregivers can provide expert assistance and companionship throughout each stage of the disease to maximize comfort at all times and to provide careful monitoring to manage later symptoms such as wandering.

Key Differences with Diagnosis

To further clarify the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, realize that someone diagnosed with dementia is given that diagnosis based on a set of symptoms that could be any of the dementia-related conditions. Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s after other possible conditions are ruled out through a series of tests and observances of behavioral patterns.

If your aging parent or loved one has received a diagnosis of either dementia or Alzheimer’s, provide them with the highest level of care that will ensure their health and wellness throughout each stage of the disease. Contact Home Care Assistance of Annapolis for more information and ask about our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Program which was designed specifically by Home Care Assistance to promote mental acuity, brain health and cognitive functioning for the clients we serve. Call 443-302-2771 to speak with a friendly Care Manager today.