Identifying the Differences in Dementia, Depression, and Delirium

Dementia, depression, and delirium are all conditions that are especially common among the elderly population. Many of their symptoms overlap but how you go about treating them is different. That is why it is so important to be able to distinguish what your loved one suffers from – delirium vs. dementia, for example – and seek or provide the most appropriate form of care. At Spring Hills, we have been providing exceptional senior care to individuals who have dementia, depression, and/or delirium, which includes sensory stimulation therapy and memory care. We’re here to help!

Is it Dementia, Depression, or Delirium? Understanding the Differences

Condition Causes Symptoms Methods of Care
Dementia Damage to nerve cells in the brain, usually from diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Difficulties with memory, retention. May have trouble remembering faces, places, and Verbalizing thoughts, reasoning, decision making, and information processing are difficult. May undergo personality and behavioral changes. Memory care and cognition exercises and activities, socialization, regular physical activity, healthy diet with more Vitamin D.
Depression Changes in brain chemistry through genetics, changes in hormone levels, and increase in grief stress. Trouble dealing with difficult life situations. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, irritability, guilt, anger, moodiness. Emotional outbursts. Loss of interest in people or activities that used to bring happiness, difficulty concentrating and making decisions. May experience thoughts of self-harm, memory issues, fatigue, and a loss of confidence. Psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, lifestyle changes, certain medications.
Delirium Acute illness of the body or brain, acute injury, or drug intoxication. What is a state of delirium?
A sudden change in personality, behavior, or temperament. A sudden change in the level of consciousness and a sudden difficulty in concentrating.

Can depression cause delirium?
Not directly, but if the patient has caused themselves acute harm or ingested intoxicants, it may bring on a state of delirium.

Frequent orientation, ensuring adequate diet and hydration, detecting and treating pain/infection/constipation, avoiding delirogenic drugs, ensuring uninterrupted sleep, memory care, and cognition activities.

Providing Support for Elderly with Dementia, Depression, and/or Delirium

We know that caring for a loved one with dementia, depression, or delirium – or a combination – can feel overwhelming. That’s why we offer assistance, in the form of respite services and assisted living.  Spring Hills caregivers are capable, knowledgeable, and dedicated to the welfare of our clients, be they residents of our assisted living facilities or recipients of our home care services. Not only do they customize exercise plans for each senior client, and ensure that they receive the proper nutrition and hydration, but they will guide your loved one through memory care, sensory stimulation, and cognition exercises.

You are not alone. Contact us today to find out more about our respite services and assisted living facilities.