Actually Alzheimers falls under the Dementia umbrella but it effects the brain differently than other Dementias. People suffering from ALZ tend to live longer. My Aunt was diagnosed in her late 70s and lived to be 89.

The best thing would be to see a neurologist. He can order the tests needed to determine what type of Dementia the person suffers from. Its important to know what type. Medications for one don't work wit others.

This is how I was told the difference between Dementia and ALZ is.

A person with Dementia knows its a stove but forgets how to work it.

A person with ALZ has forgotten its a stove.
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Reply to JoAnn29

An excellent question that many people don't understand.

Dementia refers to symptoms. It is not a disease, it's not even a diagnosis. Consider a headache. It's a symptom, it's not a disease. It's caused by some underlying issue. It could be stress, a bad cold or a brain tumor. The reason for the headache needs to be determined. So too with dementia. Dementia has over 80 different causes, some treatable, some not. A PCP can perform tests to determine if it's something that can be treated (medication interaction, hematomas, alcohol abuse, for example). If a PCP cannot identify the cause, you would be referred to a neuropsychologist for further testing. Thru bloodwork, MRIs, cognitive tests, etc., the cause of dementia should be determined. The major causes of dementia are progressive neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer's being the most common. Some AD symptoms are short term memory loss, forgetting how to perform familiar activities, getting lost, and many more. Not finding the cause of dementia is to not know what you're dealing with. If you have cancer, would you like to know what kind- breast, thyroid, colon? I think so. Likewise, find the cause of the dementia symptoms.

Once the disease is diagnosed, you can educate yourself, attend support groups, make plans for future care, etc.

Two excellent books to read are "Learning to Speak Alzheimer's" and "The 36 Hour Day". Educational YouTube videos are Teepa Snow and Careblazers. Good websites are and

I hope that helped.
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Reply to sjplegacy

Dear "djoyner,"

Think of dementia as an umbrella and underneath are the types and there are many - Alzheimer's being the most common. My mom has Alzheimer's so I usually tell people she has Alzheimer's related dementia. Lewy Body, Vascular, Fronto Temporal are the other three most common dementias.

You can go to the Alzheimer's Association Website for more information or go to the Mayo Clinic Website too.

I took my mom to a Neurologist and she had a brain scan done in order to determine what type she had. They also gave her an MMSE (Mini Mental State Exam) which is a 30 point questioning system that was used. Many people go to places that give a very in-depth and lengthier evaluation than what my mom had.

Her symptoms were short-term memory loss, getting lost while driving, no longer being able to handle reconciling her checkbook and there are so many other symptoms depending on how advanced and what type.
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Reply to NobodyGetsIt
leiangel Sep 3, 2020
is your mom still alive?
You need an expert to figure this out by a full neuro-psychiatric evaluation. A doctor can refer your husband to a geriatric psychiatrist for an assessment. They will decide which tests are required and if there is any medication which can help delay the progression, and deal with the anxiety and other symptoms.

Good luck and let us know how things go.
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Reply to golden23

Well in my case it did not really matter,, the end result was the same.. confused parent / IL. No drugs given to either my dad or MIL made a bit of difference in the reality of our lives. so with my mom I am not pushing for any tests or MRIs.. just causes them stress and more worry. If you really feel it will make a difference for your LO, then ask your Dr. And good luck!
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Reply to pamzimmrrt

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