What is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia?

At Spring Hills, our assisted living caregivers and home care providers work hard to care for our seniors and to keep the general public educated about issues that commonly affect them. Although dementia and Alzheimer’s are similar in many ways, they are unique in their causes, symptoms, and patterns of progression. To help families remain informed on the unique condition their loved one may be facing, we are happy to serve as a resource, offering insight, answers, and most importantly, hope.

Is There a Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Although they do share similarities, these conditions are markedly different. Unlike Alzheimer’s, which tends to grow over time and worsen for the remainder of the patient’s life, dementia tends to have a rapid onset followed by relative stability. Vascular dementia is a specific type of dementia that is often coupled with physical difficulties, such as a lack of fine motor skills. Often, these inabilities affect one side of the body. With Alzheimer’s, physical complications don’t typically appear until late stages of the disease.

What is the Cause of Vascular Dementia?

Many times, doctors attribute Alzheimer’s disease with genetics. Vascular dementia, on the other hand, is often the result of a traumatic event, such as a stroke or a blockage in blood flow to the brain. Because of this, the person’s cognitive abilities tend to decline sharply in the immediate aftermath, until they reach a stabilized point. However, if the blockage of blood flow is small, the progression can be more gradual. The caregivers of Spring Hills utilize ongoing monitoring to track the progression of the disease, allowing us to continuously provide seniors with the best possible care.

Are There Other Types of Dementia?

In short, yes. Dementia is a common term that refers to a range of conditions involving cognitive degeneration. Alzheimer’s is the most common form within this category, affecting over five million Americans. Vascular dementia is another common form, afflicting 1 to 4 percent of senior citizens 65 and older. Additional forms of dementia include Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, normal pressure hydrocephalus, and frontotemporal.

An Assisted Living Approach to Memory Care

No matter the type of dementia your loved one may suffer from, Spring Hills offers the level of care that is needed—the care that your loved one deserves. We recognize that every memory care patient is unique and deserving of an individualized approach to care. That is why we are proud to offer holistic memory care programs that help those with memory issues live the happiest and healthiest lives possible.

We would love to tell you more about the memory care programs of Spring Hills. Locate your nearest community to plan a visit.