According to the World Health Organization, 47.5 million people have dementia today. If you or your loved ones are experiencing symptoms or in a memory care facility, it's crucial to understand what memory loss is normal and when there are signs of a problem. You also want to be able to discuss the problem accurately. 

How Does it Happen?

Dementia comes as a result of the cerebral cortex malfunctioning directly or indirectly. This occurs when fibers and proteins accumulate in the brain destroying nerve cells. The acceleration of the destruction of the brain cells varies from individual to individual. Brain loss is irreversible, but memory skills can increase through regular mental stimulation. 

Signs of a Problem

Most people recognize short-term memory loss as the first sign of a memory problem. There are plenty of other indicators, though, such as a change in personality, paranoia, fear of change, difficulty finding the correct words, making bad decisions, apathy, and repetition. Loved ones who need memory care becomes fearful and distrustful because of their lack of memory. This creates the change in personality and fear of change. This can also become stressful for the loved ones involved, but patience on behalf of the family creates a feeling of trust in the person going through these difficult changes. 

Old Age or Dementia?

Memory loss comes with older age, and you should know the difference between dementia and natural memory loss because of old age. People will experience problems with names, short-term memory, and dates with age. With dementia, the patient experiences this memory loss severely, and they lose memory of how things around them function, such as the stove or the remote. When your loved one starts to change as a person, you know the problem has passed the level of regular memory loss. 

Dementia versus Delirium

The difference between dementia and delirium is that dementia develops over time while delirium happens more suddenly. Delirium comes as a result of a traceable source of stress. Delirium has the specific symptom of a loss of focus. Many geriatrics experience more confusion during a hospital stay (30%), and their confusion comes as a direct results of their health concern. That's delirium. The memory loss they experience every day that happened gradually is dementia.  

Dementia versus Alzheimer's

The difference between dementia and Alzheimer's is that dementia is a syndrome rather than a disease. Alzherimer's is a more specific term, but it is the most common form of dementia that we see. In fact, 60 - 80% of people with dementia have Alzheimer's.