Most common questions in regard to Alzheimer's disease and other Dementias
What is the difference between Alzheimer's disease and Dementia?
Dementia is a loss of mental functioning in two or more areas such as language, memory, visual and spatial abilities or judgment severe enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia itself is not a disease but a broader set of symptoms that accompanies certain diseases or physical conditions.
Alzheimer's disease is a disease of the brain that causes a steady decline in memory and intellectual functioning severe enough to interfere with everyday life. Sixty to 80 percent of dementia is Alzheimer's disease making it the most commonly diagnosed.
What are symptoms of Alzheimer's disease compared to normal aging?
Significant memory and functioning loss is not a typical part of aging.
Warning Signs of Alzheimer's disease:
Memory changes that disrupt daily life
Challenges in planning or solving problems
Difficulty completing familiar tasks
Confusion with time or place
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
New problems with words in speaking or writing
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
Decreased or poor judgment
Withdrawal from work or social activities
Changes in mood and personality
How is Alzheimer's disease diagnosed?
No single test can identify Alzheimer's disease. Diagnoses involve a series of tests and assessments that can be performed by a variety of medical clinicians.
Complete medical history
Mental status assessments
Series of lab tests
Psychological and other exams
Who is at risk?
Several risk factors are considered when identifying risk and potential diagnoses.
Age-65 and older 1 in 8 and 85, more than half
Vascular risk factors
History of head injury
What can the Minnesota-North Dakota Alzheimer's Association do for you?
The Alzheimer's Association provides trained care consultants in every county across North Dakota. Supportive Services and resources are available at no cost. These services and resources include, but are not limited to:
Care consultation Individualized assessments involving caregivers, persons with the disease and family members. The consultation involves problem solving, identification of resources, and one-on-one assistance that enables those struggling with the challenges of dementia to better manage their personal circumstances.
Education Educational opportunities are provided through out the state on a variety of care giving topics. Classes are available for the public, professionals, family members, and facility staff.
27/7 Information Helpline The helpline is staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week and is available to provide information, support, materials and resources, as well as referrals to local services.
MedicAlert+Alzheimer's Association Safe Return A 24 hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with Alzheimer's or related dementia who wander or have an emergency.
Support Groups Groups that are either in person or on the phone which provide support, assistance and encouragement to help manage and cope with the disease.
Alzheimer's disease knows no boundaries. Most of us will have a loved one or someone we know be affected by the challenges of dementia. Early diagnoses can result in better treatment options, prolonged independence, future planning and having a part in decision making.
The Alzheimer's Association's vision is a simple one: A world without Alzheimer's disease.
Jodi Keller, of Minot, is a licensed social worker and regional care consultant with the Minnesota-North Dakota Alzheimer's Association.