Dementia FAQs

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Your Questions About Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Answered

Providing care for someone with dementia is tough without proper training, support, and resources. As the disease advances, your loved one’s communication skills and ability to take care of daily living activities may diminish. Over time, these challenges can impact your relationship. ComForCare offers world-class home care and expert tips to support people with dementia. Explore our FAQs for more insights on caregiving and how to find the best support.

Alzheimer’s Care & Dementia Care FAQs

What is dementia?

Dementia encompasses various conditions that cause cognitive function loss. It affects memory, thinking, personality, movement, mood, sleep, and other brain functions. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common, but not the only, cause. Other forms of dementia include:

  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Vascular dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Mixed dementia (multiple causes)

Learn more about these forms of dementia on our in-home care page.

Is Alzheimer’s disease hereditary? What about other forms of dementia?

Both dementia and Alzheimer's disease can have a hereditary component, but the extent of genetic influence varies.

Some forms of dementia have a stronger genetic link, such as early-onset familial Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and Huntington's disease. In these cases, a family history of the condition increases the risk of developing dementia.

While Alzheimer's disease can have a genetic component, it is generally considered a complex disorder influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. There are specific genes, such as the ApoE4 gene, that can increase the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease, but having these genes does not guarantee the development of the condition.

It's important to note that even with a genetic predisposition, lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, cognitive engagement, and overall health play significant roles in the development and progression of both dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Regular medical check-ups and adopting a healthy lifestyle can be beneficial in managing and reducing the risk of these conditions, even in individuals with a family history.

What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a group of symptoms related to a decline in cognitive function. It isn’t a specific disease, but rather a syndrome caused by various underlying conditions that affect the brain’s ability to function properly. Dementia is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is a specific form of dementia, and is the most common in Canada, accounting for a significant majority of cases. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It is characterized by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits (plaques and tangles) in the brain that causes brain cells to perish.

The early stage of Alzheimer’s is the best time to plan care, because the person still has the ability to be independent at this stage. Over time, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s worsen, affecting a person’s ability to perform daily activities independently.

What are the signs of dementia?

Signs of dementia can vary depending on the type and stage of the condition. However, some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Difficulty recalling recent events or important information
  • Problems finding the right words or understanding language
  • Struggles with decision-making and planning
  • Issues with recognizing objects or judging distances
  • Getting lost in familiar places or losing track of time
  • Uncharacteristic mood swings, agitation, or apathy
  • Making poor decisions or mismanaging money
  • Losing interest in hobbies or social interactions
  • Difficulty with routine activities like cooking, dressing, or hygiene
  • Putting things in unusual places and being unable to retrace steps to find them

Some of these signs can be a part of normal aging or other medical conditions. However, if you or someone you know experiences persistent or worsening cognitive difficulties, it's crucial to seek a comprehensive evaluation from a healthcare professional. Early detection and diagnosis of dementia can help in managing symptoms, providing appropriate care, and improving the overall quality of life.

Download our free guide for more information about how to get a diagnosis and what steps to take next!

What are the stages of dementia?

Different forms of dementia progress in unique ways. For instance, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease leads to rapid decline—often under a year—while Alzheimer's may span years in the "moderate" stage. Various sub-types have complex progressions and stages that are harder to define clearly.

ComForCare's DementiaWise® follows the Alzheimer's Association's three-stage classification:

  • Mild (Early Stage): Independence with some assistance for safety
  • Moderate (Middle Stage): Increased challenges, often accompanied by an emotional awareness of the changes happening to them
  • Severe (Late Stage): Full assistance required. The person is often bed-bound or chair-bound and capable of limited to no communication

Specialized care interventions offer hope for maximizing quality of life. DementiaWise® equips caregivers with empowering strategies that help them focus on each client’s remaining abilities at each stage.

What is dementia care?

ComForCare's DementiaWise® program delivers specialized, in-home dementia care that enriches lives and fosters better days for clients and families. Our methods prioritize supporting and enhancing clients' abilities while offering extraordinary daily home care.

The Alzheimer's Association recognizes our evidence-based approach, which we share with family members, empowering them to make informed care decisions. Benefit from:

  • Safe home care throughout all dementia stages
  • Minimized challenging behaviors
  • Enhanced peace and acceptance of care
  • Reduced family stress, enabling quality time with loved ones
Should dementia patients be cared for at home?

People with dementia have unique care requirements, but they can keep living at home as the disease advances. Even extending their stay by six to twelve months offers advantages for both individuals and families.

In-home care for dementia and Alzheimer's provides several benefits, including fall prevention and enhanced safety, establishment or maintenance of familiar daily routines, support in maintaining healthy eating habits through meal preparation, and access to community support groups and resources for families.

At ComForCare, we are experts in the progression of dementia and modify plans accordingly to cater to changing needs. Our aim is to enable clients to stay at home for as long as possible, ensuring your loved one feels a sense of belonging and comfort, no matter their location.

What Happy Families Are Saying

What Happy Families Are Saying
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