Difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia 

April 23, 2020 Homecare Services

Difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia 

Many people around the world are aware of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia, but sometimes they can be confused as the same disease and many cannot tell the difference. Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of Dementia and accounts for up to 60-80% of the cases.


Dementia is the progressive loss of cognitive abilities or a permanent decline in mental function. Some of the characteristics are chronic memory loss, loss of reasoning or logic and change in personality. Forget-fullness is also associated with dementia although it is not classified as a symptom unless it affects your daily life. Sometimes the person just has forgetfulness due to old age, but this is not the same as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. There are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. This is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040. Figures from Alzheimer’s Society.

The second most common form of dementia is vascular dementia. In this case, the brain is slowly destroyed by blood pumping through the arteries at increased pressure, damaging the arterial walls. In many cases, vascular dementia follows the occurrence of a stroke or a series of strokes. Risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and high cholesterol.

 Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is a condition in which the cognitive skills are slowly but irreversibly eaten away. Sadly, those with the disease eventually are unable to complete simple tasks and will require full-time care. Detecting Alzheimer’s Disease is important, for many this involves comprehensive tests like PET scans to diagnose accurately. For those with suspected atypical dementia more traditional measures are used to diagnose. Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease two or three areas of cognition are tested for abnormalities. These areas are disorganisation, memory, language and disorientation.

Why is it important to understand the difference?

Understanding the difference between the two is important as they require different treatments. For example, an Alzheimer’s sufferer may be given medication to help improve and maintain good cognition. Whereas, a patient with another form of dementia may require anti-depressants for their mood.

 More importantly, Alzheimer’s Disease can be partially prevented by ensuring you: 

  • Maintain a healthy blood sugar range, high blood sugar can have an adverse effect. If you suffer from diabetes ensure you closely manage your blood sugar.
  • Manage a healthy blood pressure range. Sufferers of hypertension (high blood pressure) can be susceptible, therefore, blood pressure must be closely managed and monitored.
  • Being physically active helps maintain a healthy weight as obesity is seen to be a contributor. Staying active also has a positive effect on your mood, which in turn can prevent low moods and depression. If you do suffer from depression seek professional advice to help control and manage your low points.
  • It is advisable that you stop smoking as this can be a contributing factor. Many products and groups can assist in giving up, so, try it and see which one is best for you.  

Doing as much as you can to follow and maintain and healthy and balanced lifestyle can help prevent diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. This includes mental exercises such as reading, playing games or even learning a new language which helps improve brain performance and can reduce the risk of age-related dementia.

Cavendish Homecare

We know that being diagnosed with Dementia can have a huge emotional, social, and psychological effect on both the person suffering and their family. Therefore we ensure specialist care in the comfort of one’s own home. At Cavendish Homecare we can help support you and your loved ones with our expertise in delivering Dementia Homecare.

If you would like to speak to one of our friendly home care team about dementia care or home care for a loved one give us a call on 0208 003 5210 or email us at info@cavendishhomecare.com.