Let’s Review A Few Things

The next several weeks we will review a few important facts about dementia, Alzheimer’s, and caregiving. Many of you have just joined the group, and I want to help you catch up.

Today let’s talk about the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s. Many people believe dementia and Alzheimer’s are the same thing. They are not.

I will soon have a new book released which is tentatively titled MOMMA IS CONFUSED AND SO AM I. In it I discuss the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s, so I will quote from that book. Dementia is the inability to think clearly.


“Now, let us add to the definition, “the inability to think clearly” the phrase “that affects the activities of daily living”. In the medical community, the activities of daily living are described as bathing, eating, ambulating, dressing, and toileting. To help you remember this, I recommend the following acronym –
B E A D (like in a necklace) with a T on the end.

• B – bathing – Failure to bath regularly or inability to recall the processes involved in bathing become apparent.
• E- Eating – Forgetting to eat or no longer recognizing food causes the individual to cease eating.
• A – ambulating – Walking turns to shuffling or “skiing”, and falls become more likely.
• D – dressing – The inability to choose seasonally appropriate or occasion appropriate clothing becomes an issue. It is not uncommon to see an individual wear dirty clothing or multiple layers of clothing.
• T – toileting – Bowel and bladder incontinence becomes a problem. Individuals have difficulty remembering where the bathroom is located and how to recognize their need to void.

When at least two of these areas are impacted or altered by the inability to think clearly, doctors will likely diagnose dementia. (I recommend using the SYMPTOMS CALENDAR at the end of this book to tract changes in behavior. Use the calendar to clearly explain these changes to your physician.)

This dementia is caused by an outside source. Dementia, in and of itself, is not a disease. It is a manifestation of a disease, disorder or imbalance. Therefore, knowing the reason for the dementia becomes essential.

My clients often have no idea what the cause of their loved one’s dementia might be. They will say, “it is just regular Alzheimer’s” or “it’s just dementia – nothing special about it”. Of course, this is inaccurate. Dementia is caused by something, and that something needs to be explored. Knowing the type of dementia can direct the physician to proper medications. Assuming an individual has Alzheimer’s, when they have Parkinson’s, can lead to improper medication management.

There are over 200 different causes of dementia. ”


So we have learned what dementia is, and next week we will discuss the definition of Alzheimer’s. Also in next week’s issue, I will be giving you a chance to pre-order a copy of my new book MOMMA IS CONFUSED AND SO AM I. Stay tuned.

Sometimes, You’ve Just Got To Laugh!