Call 888-734-8645 today for Home Instead Senior Care dementia care services in your area.

What is the relationship between Alzheimer’s and dementia?

Answered by Karen Garner

February 24, 2016

It is a comfort to be able to talk to people who share this (not to be crude) nightmare of living. My question: Is it Mild Dementia, Dementia or Alzheimer’s? Why do people keep putting the terms together? I understand one leads to the other, right? But I thought Alzheimer’s is worse and comes later. Confused.

Hi Donna,

This is such a good question, because even in the medical community many do not understand the differences between dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. This is a great description I found on the Alzheimer’s Association website:

Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.

I know most people diagnosed with a form of dementia have an initial diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment, usually because there are symptoms of a form of dementia, but it isn’t quite clear yet which type the patient will eventually be diagnosed with.

Thoughts and stories from others

  1. May 17, 2016 at 11:44 am
    Posted by Denise

    my 74 year old sister lives in Canada and has been diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia. She has been having a lot of falls, serious enough to break her collar bone, her arm and most recently in the middle of the night was found on the floor, soiled herself and injured a vertabra She keeps also having passing out episodes, I'm wondering could the pain be so bad that she passes out from or could she be having panic attacks and that's the way her body is reacting. Thank you for any information, everything helps.

Share your thoughts, stories and comments

Your email address will not be published.

Ask an Expert a Question

Fill out the form below to get your own question answered by one of our experts. They’ll respond to your questions here.

If you have a comment rather than a question, you can submit your comment in the form below.

Read how we protect your information.

*All form fields are required.

Do you want to ask a specific expert?

By submitting this question, you agree to the Terms of Use and disclaimer for this site.

Rocket Fuel