Understanding the Different Forms of Dementia
As those we love age, it is common for us to find that they are experiencing some forms of memory loss. When that time comes, we may think that everything is ok and that this is normal. We may believe it is just their age and that nothing is wrong, but there could be more than meets the eye. How do we know when it’s time to talk to a doctor or find some helpful resources? Is what is going on normal or is it out of the ordinary for the one we love? These are all common questions and things that people think about as they embark on this unique journey, but what many people do not think about is that there is a complete umbrella of different types of impairment that can range from mild to severe and it is important to know the difference.
“Not all forms are the same and each comes with its own brand of problems,” according to Edward Toy, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lions Gate, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Voorhees, New Jersey. “While many people believe that dementia is simply another name for Alzheimer’s, the opposite is actually true. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia and there are many more types than people realize. There is a whole spectrum of dementias that are commonly confused with or passed off as Alzheimer’s disease. Being informed about the different types of dementia and what the symptoms are can make all the difference in the care and treatment that your loved one receives, as treatments and journeys are not one-size-fits-all.”
Fortunately, there are many experts in this field who can help to teach us what all of these types are and what options may be available to help. The Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimers.net provide many resources for families who aren’t exactly sure where to go from here and for more information on the following types, give them a look.
TYPES OF DEMENTIA
- Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, this occurs when there is evidence of nerve cell damage and death around the brain caused by deposits of plaques and tangles. The most common symptoms are difficulty remembering people, conversations or events.Eventually this leads to confusion, behavioral changes and difficulty doing everyday activities. This is the most common form of dementia and is a progressive brain disease. The Alzheimer’s Society states that there is no cure for it, but there are some drug treatments and non-drug options. Support is also widely available.
- Vascular Dementia. This form is known as “post-stroke dementia.” This is known to be the second most common form. Vascular dementia includes symptoms such as memory loss, impaired judgement and a decrease of motivation. According to Alzheimers.net, this is caused by bleeding inside of the brain that causes brain damage because of a stroke. This is also an incurable form, however, to keep the injury from becoming worse, medicines and therapies will need to be used to manage symptoms.
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). This form is caused by abnormal proteins that impair functioning by appearing in the nerve cells. This can cause sleep problems, hallucinations and cause rapid swings in how alert you are. Even though this is also an incurable form, therapies and treatments can help to decrease the symptoms.
- Mixed Dementia. This form is exactly what it sounds like. In this case, there is more than one cause of the dementia. Most commonly, the person may have all of the previous forms at once. This means that the person can have any or all symptoms of Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia or DLB. There are no medicines to treat this form, however, many doctors will prescribe medicines used to treat Alzheimer’s.
- Frontotemporal Dementia. This form occurs when there is damage or shrinkage in the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain. Though rare, this dementia mostly takes control over behavior or emotion rather than memory. Changes in apathy, empathy and inhibition can occur with this type of dementia. Anxiety and depression are also common symptoms as well as difficulty with language. Sadly, this form cannot be cured or reversed, only managed. Talk to a doctor about medicines that can help to treat problematic symptoms.
- Rarer Types of Dementia. Any time brain damage occurs, dementia can begin. Some diseases can cause impairment to be more prevalent, as well. These include Parkinson’s disease, Huntingdon’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV and even Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome – mostly caused by alcoholism. All of these are currently irreversible but there are resources to provide some aid. For more information on the help that is available, visit the Alzheimer’s Society website.
LET LIONS GATE HELP YOU IN YOUR UNIQUE JOURNEY.
At Lions Gate, we understand that no two people are the same and we understand that this means that their journeys through memory loss are going to be significantly different. This is why our Memory Care program is tailored specifically to meet the needs and abilities of the ones you love. With a dedicated staff specifically trained to care for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, we want to help you and your loved one through this trying time while giving you the best resources possible. We pride ourselves in our dedication to care and community and invite you to visit us to see how we can help you today.
EXPERIENCE LIFESTYLE, CARE, COMMUNITY AND TRADITION AT LIONS GATE.
Lions Gate, located in Voorhees, NJ, offers a continuum of lifestyle and care options rooted in Jewish traditions and values. Whether you are in need of Independent Living,Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing or Rehabilitation Services, Lions Gate has you covered.
Our mission at Lions Gate is to enrich the lives of those we serve through quality and compassionate care consistent with our heritage and values. We strive to provide programs and services that inspire well-being, as well as social, cultural and spiritual independence.
As a full-service community rich in wellness programs, meaningful experiences and educational opportunities from Lions Gate University, Lions Gate allows residents to connect with those who share their interests and cherished traditions. Our goal is to provide residents with an active, worry-free lifestyle filled with ways to connect with others, pursue their passions and be engaged in everyday life. While we focus on Jewish customs and traditions, we welcome people of all faiths to the Lions Gate family.
Through our affiliation with Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Service, we also offer three senior living communities for those with limited incomes.