Alzheimer`s Disease/Alzheimer's

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Question
We recently discovered my mother doesn't have Alzheimer's but likely does have some form of Demensia. Is Alzheimer's considered the worst possibility, or can it be just as bad with something else causing similar symptoms?

Answer
Hello James:  I'm sorry to hear of your mother's diagnosis.  I'm encouraged that you are seeking answers and I hope you continue to do so.
"Dementia" is the umbrella term.  There are over 50 types of dementia and Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia.  All of these dementias are progressive and there is no cure for them.  The different types of dementia often start out differently and may progress through the brain in a different way, but eventually, all elders with dementia will exhibit the same deficits in function and cognition.  It's hard to say which type of dementia would be worse to have--I guess it would depend on the family and the support system.  In some ways, it's easier to deal with someone with little or no short term memory (such as in Alz.), than it is for someone with Lewy Body Dementia where they have a progressive memory loss, but in the earlier stages do not have short term memory loss.  They cannot be redirected as easily as someone with Alzheimer's.  Please continue to seek answers and find the best ways of dealing with her behaviors.  I'm sure it is not easy for her to be going through this so you and your family would be doing all of you a favor if you can find the best ways to support her and keep her safe.  "Learning To Speak Alzheimer's" by Joanne Koenig-Coste, or my book "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" are both excellent starting books that will answer many questions you don't even know you need to ask right now.  A new book just out "A Healing Hug for Alzheimer's Caregiver's" by Elizabeth Postle is a very simple and basic book that gives a lot of good information as well.  
I wish you and your family much luck James as you move forward with your mother on her journey through dementia.  

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner

Expertise

As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.

Experience

I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Organizations
Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Publications
Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Education/Credentials
Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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