Dementia vs alzheimer's

In our Glasgow South office, we often hear the term Dementia and Alzheimer's but is there a difference?

We often hear the terminology Alzheimer’s and Dementia batted around but many don’t understand what the difference is. 

Dementia is a syndrome that involves a decline in brain functioning. Alzheimer’s is no different as it’s a type of Dementia. There are over 400 types of dementia but the two most common are Vascular Dementia and Alzheimers. 

Dementia is extremely common as there are over 850,000 people in the UK alone who have Dementia. As more people are living for longer, the number of people with Dementia is rising. Due to this, Bluebird Care needs to understand the symptoms, causes and how to best treat an individual with Dementia. 

Here at Bluebird Care Glasgow South, we put a huge focus on Dementia and this is why we are Gold Standard Framework accredited, we are Dementia Friends and we also follow Herbert’s Protocol. But what do all of these mean?

  • Gold Standard Framework Accredited - we deliver high-quality Dementia training to ensure that our team have all the knowledge, skills and understanding to be able to care for an individual with Dementia. By having this training and knowledge set, we can have earlier planning discussions to ensure that the individual is safe and comfortable at home, reduce avoidable hospitalisation and improve assessment of pain. 
  • Dementia Friends - this is another element of training as a team we go through from those who specialise in Dementia. This helps us to find out more about Dementia that specifically affects a person so that we can shape our day to day activity. We can also offer this training to people in the community to ensure everyone is aware of the signs and how they can help. 
  • The Herbert Protocol - people with Dementia often go walkabouts so this tool allows the police to quickly access important information to locate the individual without unnecessary delays. The form records information such as where the individual grew up, favourite place, hobbies, medication, routine and a picture. Once the form is complete, it can be retained by the carers or placed in their home in a prominent place. 

We have customers who come to us with their Dementia diagnosis and others who receive a diagnosis whilst they are with us. Whilst there is no cure for dementia, it is extremely important to get an early diagnosis. This can help to slow down the symptoms so that an individual can maintain their mental function for longer and/or it can mean that family, friends or even carers can adjust how they take care of an individual.

It’s a common misconception that Dementia is just based on memory loss. People are right, those with Dementia may often repeat themselves or have problems recalling information but it doesn’t stop there. Other symptoms of Dementia include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Issues with planning or even thinking things through
  • Struggling with daily tasks such as following a recipe, how to use a bank card, how to get somewhere.
  • Difficulty with language and communication
  • Problems judging distances even though their eyesight is fine
  • Mood changes and difficulty controlling emotions

These symptoms may start mild but they can gradually become worse. Which symptoms and the severity of them are dependent on the individual. It can be quite overwhelming when you find out that you or someone you know has Dementia, but it’s important to not panic but rather understand it and investigate what small changes can be made to avoid changing your lifestyle too much. For example, you may no longer be able to drive but family, friends or even us can help get you to your normal weekly activities so you don’t have to miss out. 

The following can help stop symptoms from progressing for a while:

  • Keeping up with regular activities with some support.
  • Cognitive stimulation such as word puzzles, jigsaws, memory games.
  • Keeping as active as possible. This doesn’t just mean physically but also mentally and socially as it can help to boost memory and self-esteem. 
  • There are also some drugs that the GP can prescribe.

If you have any questions about Dementia our Bluebird Care Glasgow South team are on hand to help you. All you have to do is get in touch with us on 0141 638 0167.

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3. Assessment

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4. Care team chosen & care starts

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