Vancouver Home Health Care Agency

Alzheimer and dementia Overview

Alzheimer and dementia Overview

Dementia is a generalized term for the decline in a patient’s mental ability, which is severe enough to interrupt daily life. Dementia is progressive, which means it begins slowly and gets worse over time. Many people do not realize a patient has dementia until it is too late; some people don’t want to admit the loved one has brain issues, others don’t recognize early symptoms. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, and it is the most common type.

Dementia is non-specific. This means that it’s a term used to cover a very wide range of the symptoms associated with the decline of memory and other thinking skills. This decline is severe and will reduce the patient’s ability to carry out daily activities. Alzheimer’s disease covers nearly 80 percent of dementia cases. It’s important to remember that dementia is not a normal part of aging.

Symptoms vary, but some consistent symptoms are:

  • Memory
  • Ability to focus
  • Communication failure
  • Visual perception
  • Reasoning failure


Dementia is primarily caused by damage to brain cells. This will interfere with the brain’s ability to communicate with itself. This is why changes happen – reasoning is reduced, feelings and behavior change, and memories are lost. This is due to regions in the brain losing cells and becoming damaged. Different types of dementia are caused by damage to different types of cells; the types of cells damaged characterizes the diagnosis.


Unfortunately, more research is necessary in this field, so there is no specific test to create a diagnosis. Doctors deliver a diagnosis based on history, examinations, tests, and characteristic changes in behavior or daily function. While doctors can determine dementia, it’s harder to determine the exact type. Often, symptoms between different dementias overlap. Often, a physician’s dementia diagnosis will be followed by a visit to a neurologist or gero-psychologist.

Treatment and Care

Sadly, there is no cure for the progression of the disease. However, there are medications to help alleviate some of the symptoms. As mentioned above, further research is necessary to help professionals determine if a cure is possible.

The Basics

  • Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of the aging process, though a known risk factor is age.
  • Alzheimer’s gets worse over time. It is progressive, while other types of dementia take years to develop, categorizing them as less progressive.
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s has no current cure.
  • Alzheimer’s is the most common form of known dementia.

The Vancouver Home Health care Agency can help families deal with the symptoms of dementia.
At Vancouver Home Health care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.

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