Dementia FAQs

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Answers to Your Questions About Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Caring for a person with a dementia diagnosis can be challenging without the right training, support, and resources. As the disease progresses, your family member’s communication skills and ability to perform daily tasks may diminish to the point of affecting your relationship. ComForCare is here to change that. We support people with dementia, both by providing top-class home care and by sharing our best strategies and tips for caregivers. Browse the questions below to learn more about dementia, caregiving, and getting the support you need.

Dementia Care & Alzheimer’s Care FAQs

What is dementia?

Dementia is a broad, umbrella term for the loss of cognitive function. It is involved in various conditions that affect a person’s brain, leading to impairments in memory and thinking abilities. Some forms of dementia also affect personality, movement, mood, sleep, and other brain functions. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common and familiar cause of dementia, but it is not the only kind. Other dementias include:

  • Lewy body dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Vascular dementia
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Mixed dementia (a combination of causes)
Is dementia hereditary? What about Alzheimer’s disease?

We are still learning about what causes many forms of dementia. Most dementias do not appear to be hereditary, developing in response to various factors like genetics, environment, lifestyle, and overall health. Some dementias are a side-effect of other conditions or activities, such as certain medications, head injuries, and diseases like Parkinson’s disease. Others are less understood.

Modern science has made great progress in understanding the disease, but the true cause of Alzheimer’s is still unknown. Though a person with a parent or sibling who has Alzheimer’s disease is generally more likely to develop it themselves, it is certainly not a guarantee. 

Lifestyle and environmental risk factors for dementia include:

  • Poor diet and lack of exercise
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Depression and loneliness or isolation
  • Head trauma
  • Tobacco use
  • Air pollution
  • Diabetes and heart disease
What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is a specific brain disease that causes dementia. People with Alzheimer’s experience memory loss, confusion, changes in personality, and a gradual loss of independence that necessitates long-term care. It is characterized by the presence of abnormal lumps (called plaques) and fibers (called tangles) in the brain. These plaques and tangles, combined with a loss of function in neurons, eventually lead to brain shrinkage.

The disease progresses fairly predictable from its mild, moderate, to late stages. It usually begins with short-term memory loss that may only be recognizable by that person or their close friends and family. Mild or early-stage Alzheimer’s is the best time to talk about care planning, as the person can still be independent at this stage. From there, the person will begin to experience challenges in expressing themselves, moodiness or frustration, and trouble with activities of daily living such as bathing or grooming that require assistance.

What are the signs of dementia?

The most common early sign of dementia is memory loss, which can take the form of:

  • Forgetting important information that previously would have been easy to recall
  • Trouble making sound decisions
  • Difficulty judging the time or sequence of steps needed to complete a complex task
  • Frequently misplacing objects
  • Struggling to find the right word or communicate abstract information

If you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, download our free guide to learn more about recognizing the symptoms of dementia, how to get a diagnosis, and what steps to take next.

What are the stages of dementia?

Each form of dementia progresses differently. For example, a person with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is likely to experience rapid, severe deterioration in under one year, while a person with Alzheimer’s disease may go many years in the “moderate” stage. There are many sub-types of dementia with complex progressions and difficult-to-define stages. 

That said, ComForCare’s DementiaWise® approach follows the Alzheimer’s Association’s three-stage classification of dementia: 

  • Mild (Early Stage): Most people can complete tasks for themselves, but may require assistance with some activities to maximize their independence and remain safe.
  • Moderate (Middle Stage): Changes become more noticeable, making it challenging for the individual as they become more aware of what is happening but cannot understand why or express their feelings about it.
  • Severe (Late Stage): The person requires maximum assistance for all activities of daily living. Finally, the individual will be bed- or chair-bound with little to no words spoken.

With specialized care interventions, there is hope for maximizing the person’s remaining days. ComForCare’s DementiaWise® training program gives our caregivers the strategies they need to empower their clients, focusing on their remaining abilities to enhance their quality of life at every stage of the disease.

What is dementia care?

ComForCare’s DementiaWise® program provides specialized, life-enhancing dementia care services that improve quality of life and create better days for our clients and their families. Our special care methods focus on supporting and enhancing our clients’ remaining abilities while providing them with exceptional daily home care. 

This program is recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association for incorporating evidence-based strategies and practices, which we share with our clients’ family members to help them make the best care decisions for their loved ones. With this care:

  • People with dementia can safely remain at home through all stages of dementia
  • Challenging behaviors are redirected and minimized
  • Clients are more peaceful and accepting of care
  • Family members are less stressed and more able to enjoy time with their loved one
Should dementia patients be cared for at home?

People with dementia have unique needs, but they can continue to live at home throughout the disease’s progression. Even an extension of six to 12 months at home can benefit people with dementia and their families.

Benefits of in-home care for dementia and Alzheimer’s include:

  • Prevent falls and other safety risks
  • Keep or establish a familiar daily routine
  • Maintain healthy eating habits with meal preparation
  • Get connected with support groups and other resources in your community

ComForCare understands the way dementia progresses and redesigns plans as our clients’ needs change. That way, they can live at home as long as possible and feel at home no matter where they live.

Hear From Happy Families

Hear From Happy Families
  • I highly recommend this company. The staff was so very accommodating. I had a situation where both my mother and father were down and needed some assistance. ComeForCare Home Care sitter service absolutely came through to help us out. Thank you so much! - Johnny W.
  • Excellent care given to my loved one. The owner and employees respond to inquiries quickly and resolve matters with care in a timely fashion. Completely satisfied with all aspects of their work. Highly recommend the ComForCare Home Care team. - Lynda F.
  • If you’re looking for Compassionate personalized care staff is available 24/7 this is the company to have for your loved one(s). They are in contact with you constantly which brings warmth and comfort to you knowing your loved ones are in great hands. - Kristen R.
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