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I worked for a Nursing facility and I asked that same question of my boss. She said Dementia is where u know it's a stove but forgot how to use it. Alz is...you forgot it's a stove.
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I recall when dementia first entered my life with my LO. I had always heard of Alzheimers, but, didn't realize that OTHER conditions can cause dementia, not just Alzheimers. I'd read a lot on line and even discuss it with a doctor who focuses on dementia patients. I have found that many doctors aren't that well versed in dementia. It's shocking and scary at how much medical professionals still don't know about dementia.

The way I looked at it, was that Dementia was the top category and then all the diseases that cause it come underneath. Some include Lewy Bodies, Vascular Dementia, Alzheimers, Korsakoff Syndrome, Frontal lobe dementia, etc.

I'd also consider that at some stages of dementia, the patient may not be able to process or accept their condition. I'm not aware of any way to make that happen. Eventually, they would forget anyway, so, I suppose that's the only positive.
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Apparently your mother has been diagnosed with dementia. Was that "dementia of the Alzheimer's kind?" Or was it dementia with no specific type mentioned? The alz.org site is an excellent source of information. That also have sections dealing with Vascular dementia, Frontal Lobe dementia, Parkinson's Disease with Dementia, Lew Body Dementia, and some others. Just realize that when they talk about Alzheimer's what they say there may or may not also apply to the other kinds of dementia.

Why do you think it is important that your mom understands what she has?
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When you say "what is the difference between the two," are you asking on your own behalf or asking for suggestions about how to explain the difference to your mother?

Either way. The Alzheimers Association at alz.org has good resources for people living with dementia (of all types) and their families and caregivers. If you go to their home page you will see a tab in the purple menu bar marked "Life With ALZ" - this will take you to a number of helpful pages.
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Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia, accounts for more than 80% of cases. It is usually identified by behaviors and other symptoms. There are more than 70 types of dementia some of them are reversible and due to illness, infections, etc.

Get her to understand? She may be able to in the early stages but will probably deny there is a problem and forget. In the later stages understanding is not possible.
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