Did you know more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s Disease vs. Dementia
In the medical world, the terms “Alzheimer’s” and “Dementia” are often used interchangeably. However, they refer to two different things. Dementia is a category of symptoms where Alzheimer’s Disease is a specific disease.
According to Healthline, dementia is a group of symptoms that doesn’t lead to a specific diagnosis. “Dementia is an overall term used to describe symptoms that impact memory, performance of daily activities, and communication skills.”
Alzheimer’s Disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills.
Both Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia can affect the person’s memory and other mental abilities making it harder for them to effectively express themselves, make decisions or follow instructions.
A person suffering from either of these conditions often exhibits mood swings, such as increased irritability, depression, and anxiety which sometimes results in changes in personality and behavior.
Tips for Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia:
If your loved one becomes angry, combative or uncooperative, don’t argue with them or force them to do anything.
Reassure them. Tell them how much they are supported by their family, friends, and caregivers.
Compliment them. Show them how much they are loved.
If they become agitated or angry, stand or sit with them in silence. Give them a few minutes to calm down before moving on to another task.
When assisting with daily activities:
Talk to them. Tell them what you are going to do next and why you are doing it.
Ask them to help you. For example, give them a washcloth and let them hold on to it while you care for them.
When you are finished, compliment them. Keep the conversation positive.
Puzzles, word games, picture books, arts and crafts, music, dancing, walking and simple household chores are just some of the many activities that a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia may enjoy.
“World Alzheimer’s Day, which takes place every Sept. 21, is a global effort to raise awareness and challenge the stigma around Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. Join the Alzheimer’s Association as we recognize the more than 55 million people across the world who are affected by this terrible disease. Whether you fundraise for the cause, share information about Alzheimer’s or talk to a loved one about dementia, you can make a difference.”