"At the Lewy Body Dementia Association, we understand that many
families are touched by Lewy body dementia. Whether you’ve been
recently diagnosed, you’re a caregiver, a healthcare professional,
or you’re looking for more information – we’re here
- Understanding The Different Types, and Causes of Dementia
Besnette - Founder/Editor for Assisted Living Directory Summary: Dementia is often misunderstood. Many
people with this disease, especially the elderly, require assisted
living that specializes in dementia care and memory disorders. This
page will help you to learn about the different types and causes
We also include a video conversation with Harry Urban, who "has been living successfully with dementia, probably Alzheimer’s, for more than a decade."
a neurological disorder that is often very misunderstood.
If you were to ask a person on the street what they thought
dementia was, they would probably reply with "crazy"
or some variation that is surface-level, and stereotype.
Our culture has not
helped people to understand dementia either. Movies or television,
or even our day-to-day conversations have widely used phrases
such as "he is demented" or "that's demented"
- phrases that are used to conjure up images of mental instability
or craziness. Dementia is more complex than these phrases would
imply, and the causes and effects of dementia are complicated
Many people also assume
that Dementia is Alzheimer's. A number of disorders can cause
dementia, and we should not always assume that it is Alzheimer's.
An excellent 1 minute+ video by the Alzheimer's Association of California and Nevada: Question and Answer: Dementia and Alzheimers:
So what is Dementia?
In basic terms, dementia is a "neurological disorder that
affects your ability to think, speak, reason, remember and move."
It is true that Alzheimer's disease is the most common form
of dementia, however, there are many other conditions that can
cause dementia-like symptoms. Some of these disorders do get
worse over time, and are progressive. However, some of them
respond well to treatments, and thankfully,with some types, the symptoms can even be reversed.
Another clinical definition
dementia is: Development of multiple cognitive deficits that
include memory impairment and at least one other cognitive domain:
aphasia, agnosia, apraxia, or a disturbance in executive functioning.
There are a number of
types of dementia, and at times, a person can have more than
one of these types at the same time. The most common forms of
This is a dementia where the arteries of the brain become narrowed
or blocked. This type of dementia frequently occurs after a
stroke, and the onset of symptoms are usually very abrupt. Sometimes,
vascular dementia is hard to distinguish from Alzheimer's disease.
The prevalence of vascular dementia is higher in men than in
women and incidences increase with age and the most common result
of Vascular Dementia is cognitive decline - problems with thinking,
language, walking, bladder control and vision.
Lewy Body Dementia:
Lewy bodies are abnormal clumps of protein that have been found
in the brains of people with Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer's
disease and Parkinson's disease. Lewy Body Dementia is a "progressive
brain disease and the second leading cause of degenerative dementia
in the elderly
. The clinical name, “dementia with Lewy bodies”
(DLB), accounts for up to 20% of all dementia cases, or 800,000
patients in the US. Over 50% of Parkinson’s disease patients
develop “Parkinson’s disease dementia” (PDD
), which accounts for at least 750,000 patients. (PDD is also
a Lewy body dementia.)"
dementia: This is a form of dementia that affects areas
of the brain that are responsible for judgment and social behavior.
This form of dementia usually appears in people between the
ages of 40 and 65.
A number of other disorders
are related to dementia. These less common disorders can also
result in dementia: Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease,
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and AIDS.
Often times, people
with dementia, especially the elderly, need to live in an assisted
living facility that offers specific care for dementia and memory
disorders. There are numerous assisted living facilities listed
on this site that specialize in dementia, as well as care or
other memory disorders, including Alzheimer's disease.
Conversation with Harry Urban about United Against Dementia Harry has been living successfully with dementia, probably Alzheimer’s, for more than a decade:
Lewy Body Dementia Association The
Association For Frontotemporal Degeneration - Partners In Care
- Many FTD patients have a particularly difficult time finding
suitable assisted living facilities for several reasons. Many
times, staff do not know what FTD is or how to handle a patient
with it. FTD patients are often younger, stronger and have behavioral
issues that are not present with Alzheimer's or other dementias.
This combination makes it very hard for our families to find
a good living arrangement for their loved one. As an aside,
AFTD just launched an education initiative called Partners in
FTD Care, which is aimed at working with long-term care facilities
(and day facilities) to provide educational tools to facility
staff so that FTD patients get the best care possible. The Association
for Frontotemporal Degeneration offers a comprehensive view
on FTD to help families and individuals to understand this disease
process, and just as important - the AFTD is committed to finding
a cure, and 'opening gateways to help.'
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to this article:
My aunt, who has mild dementia but otherwise healthy, will need to go into assisted living in the near future. Her income is her $1900 monthly social security check - no savings, no assets, no life insurance, no house - just that check which disqualifies her from Medicaid. Any suggestions? Thanks!
1 November 2016 at 1:35 pm
Good overview, and much appreciated that you list other non-commercial sites relevant to dementia. I think so many people are confused by what actually happens with dementia, since it is such a broad term. Are assisted living faciltiies and their staff required to have some sort of certificate or certification to handle dementia residents?
25 August 2014 at 5:15 am
Great video by the Alz Association - thanks for sharing that. I wish I could attend some of their talks. They are so well organized and informative!
5 June 2014 at 4:45 pm
At what point is it officially dementia, as opposed to simple
forgetfulness, spaciness, or everyday misplacing things?
How do they test for that?
25 July 2012 at 4.11 am
So, if a facility is Alzheimer's certified, does that mean
that they are certified for all dementias, and vice-versa?
28 October 2011 at 9.10 am
Can spouse live in a Dementia assisted living facility????
1 June 2010 at 10.48 am
My mother has Frontotemporal Dementia and is in an assisted
living facility right now that cannot handle her disease.
Can you tell me of any assisted living places that handle
specifically FTD? Elaine
26 February 2010 at 7.22 pm
My mother has stopped standing or putting weight on her legs
and feet. She is currently in assisted living accommodations
but they have informed me that since she cannot stand she
no longer can live at an assisted living facilitated but needs
to be in a nursing home. Is this one of the symptoms of Dementia?
3 November 2009 at 2.40 pm
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