Alzheimer's versus dementia

4 answers | Last updated: Nov 30, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Is there some reason your site insists on only discussing "Alzheimers" and not dementia? Yes, the are very similar and often follow the same progression BUT they are NOT THE SAME. At the least, the planning and care giving is different. Life can be long for Alzheimer's patients, it is shorter for dementia patients (more likely than not). As a caregiver of a dementia patient I feel shorted by the lack of address to dementia. Just correcting the writing to include both would be less offensive.

Expert Answers

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's. A Met Life Foundation Journalists in Aging fellow, she writes extensively about health and caregiving; four of her family members have had dementia.

You are absolutely correct that Alzheimer's is just one form of dementia and there are many others. The earliest content created for this website focused first on Alzheimer's simply because of its dominance. We're developing more information to address dementia generally, as well as using broader and more inclusive terms to refer to advice that could apply to any kind of dementia. Thanks for sharing this important distinction.

Community Answers

Lancer01 answered...

For starters, how about listing all the different kinds of Dementia and include some of the major differences. My father has Lewy body type Dementia, with sun downers syndrome and he can't tell the difference between reality and his dreams. Respectfully, Lancer, Tucson, AZ

Maggieclarke answered...

So how do you tell what form of dementia you've got? Mom's got dementia and I've heard both vascular and Alzheimers from doctors for a few years, but never both from the same doctor!

Lancer01 answered...

Maggieclarke, I'm not sure how everybody else finds out but the official diagnosis for my Dad came from a Geriatric Psychiatrist they are the real pro's at what's going on inside the heads of people with Dementia, so at least now we know. Before the Psychiatrist's diagnosis, some people thought my Dad had Parkinsons because he shakes a little but when we gave him the standard meds for Parkinsons, he had a bad reaction to it, now we have him on the right meds and things are so much better, Dad is 86 yrs old. Good Luck, Lancer