Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimer

By | February 18, 2016

The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimer Disease

Often, these two terms Dementia and Alzheimer are used interchangeably and Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimermany people have the impression that both means the same. However, these two diagnoses, while related, are totally different.

When you have been diagnosed by a doctor that you have Dementia, it means you have significant memory problems, as well as other cognitive difficulties. There is something wrong with your brain, but it does not provide any information about what is causing the memory or cognitive difficulties.

However, if the doctor told you specifically that you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, it means that this specific brain disease is the cause of your Dementia.

Symptoms And Causes

In a nutshell, Dementia is a symptom that affects mental tasks like memory and reasoning and Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the common cause of Dementia that affects this mental disorder.

For simplicity explanation, Dementia is like having a fever. Fever is a symptom that tells you something in the body is wrong but having a fever does not tell you what is causing the fever.

Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the causes of the symptom, Dementia. Just like bacterial infection is one of the causes of the symptom, fever.


Taking an antibiotic may eliminate the bacterial infection and therefore eliminate the cause of the fever.

Some causes of mild Dementia can be treated, and so reduce or eliminate Dementia.

However, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, even with today’s advanced medical science. Alzheimer’s Disease will also not go away over time. The best approach is engagement, communication and loving care.

Empower Yourself With The Knowledge

I recommend reading this book for care givers and early stages of Hiding the Stranger in the MirrorDementia patients. This will help to empower yourselves with the knowledge and understanding of Dementia and how to cope with your daily lives.

Hiding the Stranger in the Mirror: A Detective’s Manual for Solving Problems Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders [Paperback] [2012] (Author) Ph.D. Cameron J. Camp .

In Hiding the Stranger in the Mirror, Dr. Cameron Camp writes with wit and compassion, aiming to help his audience better understand how dementia affects memory, and how memory loss may affect behaviour. Going against conventional wisdom, the author stresses that the key to successfully caring for persons with dementia is to focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses—to see the person and not the disease.

His entertaining and insightful book examines cases based on real individuals to illustrate common challenging behaviours and how to approach these challenges. Readers act as detectives and are given the tools and the resources to understand why persons with dementia do what they do, and how to solve their own cases. More importantly, the stories lead the reader to new ideas, new ways of thinking, and a new attitude towards persons with dementia.

If you have any thoughts or feedback, please feel free to write your  comments below.


16 thoughts on “Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimer

  1. Ashley

    Hey, very interesting article. I didn’t know there was such a huge difference between Dementia and Alzheimer, but it’s good that there are people like you, who tell us how to make the difference between them. Obviously, Alzheimer is a much more serious condition and as far as I know, it can also be inherited. I wanted to ask you, is it the same for Dementia?

    1. wesley Post author

      Hi Ashley,

      Glad that I can share this knowledge with you. In general most dementia’s such as Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular dementia are not inherited diseases and are a consequence of the lifestyles we choose to lead. However, medical research believe that much more evidence is still needed to confirm this research.

  2. Matt

    Hi, and thanks for all the information and the book recommendation.

    I don;t currently have any experience with either of these conditions, but my folks are getting older now and it is something that does way on my mind a little, as I know my mum’s mum suffered with dementia towards the end of her life.

    Thanks again

    1. wesley Post author

      Hi Matt,

      Thank you for stopping by. It is good that we empower ourselves with the relevant knowledge now and know what to do when we or our loved ones do experience such dementia conditions.

  3. Travis Smithers

    Good post on giving a description of the difference between Dementia and Alzheimer. I never thought much about what exactly the difference was and can see how easy it would be to confuse the two. Your description makes the similarities and differences evident.

    The book you recommend would certainly be a valuable read to get a fuller understanding of the problems one would be dealing with in the subject.

    1. wesley Post author

      Hi Travis Smithers,

      Thank you for visiting my website. I am glad that my post is able to give you a better understanding of Dementia and Alzheimer.

  4. Angela

    What a nice and interesting site you have here. The information is certainly laid out for everyone to have a better understanding between the differences of dementia and alzheimers. From what I have been reading in the health industry, our society is in need of knowing more information on this topic.
    Millions of people are or will be affected by this frightening illness and knowing the facts is a good start to minimize, prolong or perhaps even prevent a loved one from falling into this category. I will pass this information along to people that are in need of this. Thanks

    1. wesley Post author

      Hi Angela,

      thanks for stopping by. The aging population is growing and more elderly are going to be affected by dementia in one way or another. It will be good if our society is empowered with this info and knowledge so that they are more well prepared when dealing with this illness.

  5. Michael

    My grandmother had Alzheimer’s and the part I had the hardest time with was talking to her. I never knew what to say. I could not just have the normal talks that I use to have with her but also did not want to talk down to her. I felt so bad that I was awkward around her. I wanted to treat her the way I always treated her, and speak to her the way I always spoke to her. I didn’t want to belittle her but also didn’t want to confuse her. I really feel like I let her down some and hope I can improve that as I come to that point again with any other family members that go through this.

    1. wesley Post author

      Hi Michael

      I can understand the challenges you have encountered when communicating with your grandmother who is an Alzheimer patient. As Alzheimer disease progresses, the communication skills of the patient will gradually decline. Eventually, the patient will have more difficulty expressing thoughts and emotions. It can be helpful for you to understand what changes an Alzheimer’s patient may occur over time so that you can prepare and make adjustments. Anticipating these changes and knowing how to respond can help to communicate more effectively.


  6. Rob S.

    I learned something here. I wasn’t exactly sure of the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As I get older, I hear more and more about these terrible diseases and I want to do everything I can to avoid them. Since there is no cure, I’m going to research what I have to do now before it’s too late. Do you know what percentage of people get dementia and Alzheimer’s?

    1. wesley Post author

      Hi Rob,

      Based on World Health Organisation statistics:

      Worldwide, 47.5 million people have dementia and there are 7.7 million new cases every year. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and may contribute 60 to 70% of cases.

      There is currently no treatment available to cure dementia or to alter its progressive course. However, the key to prevention is maintain a cheerful and healthy lifestyle such as daily exercise, treat depression, balance diet, maintain a social network of friends and visit your doctor regularly.

      Thank you for reading https://howtopreventagingmemoryloss.com/ Hope you will be able to find some useful information here.


  7. Roy

    I was one of those who thought Dementia was just a “softer” form of Alzheimer. Thank you for enlightening me. And you did it in such a simple way. You’d make a great schoolteacher you know.
    Also enjoyed how you explained that when dealing with someone who has one or other of these diseases, that the best is to focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses.
    The book looks to be a worthwhile read.

    1. wesley Post author

      Hi Roy,

      Thank you for your kind words. Happy to hear that you have gained some valuable knowledge in reading my blog posts. The book on “Hiding The Stranger In The Mirror” is a good read. The writer aims to help his audience to better understand how dementia affects memory, and how memory loss may affect behavior. Dr Cameron Camp stresses that the key to successfully caring for persons with dementia is to focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. This is often neglected by Caregivers.


  8. Sheree

    I can imagine, many people like myself did not know there was a difference. Thanks for clarifying and pointing this out.
    I have a friend who’s mom died a few years back because of Alzheimer. A lot of people who I interacted with back then used both terms interchangeable. I am guilty of using it interchangeable as well 🙂 . We do learn new things daily, thanks for imparting this new information to me. Thumbs up on the article, very informative.

    1. wesley Post author

      Hi Sheree

      I am glad you found the article informative. We are learning new things daily and I hope I can share more interesting articles in my web page.



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