Talk Therapy

Talk Therapy Can Help Seniors Deal with Depression

Talk Therapy Can Help Seniors Deal with Depression

It’s easy to see why some seniors can fall into deep depression and decide life may not be worth living anymore. They may have lost a spouse, family members, children, friends or perhaps their mobility and health.

Sometimes depression may come softly, slowly stealing the seniors’ enthusiasm for life and isolating themselves from others while struggling alone with all sorts of depressive emotions.

New therapies have emerged that can help seniors deal with emotional issues that even they may not know they have. Talk therapy is one method of treatment that’s making amazing pathways to help seniors re-evaluate their present situation and find ways to deal with it.

How Talk Therapy for Seniors Works

Mental health social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists are become adept at helping seniors revamp their lives with the help of talk therapy. This type of therapy is designed to get the seniors to confront their negative thoughts and mood swings and develop new ones that can stave off bouts of depression that plague them in future years.

Talk Therapy Can Help Seniors Deal with Depression

Some seniors that are dealing with depression today may be part of the generation that didn’t put much stock into therapy or counseling. They think of it as ‘spilling their guts’ to a person they don’t know and who doesn’t really know them. It’s embarrassing and a stigma that they want to avoid at all costs.

During a senior’s younger years, most have likely never entered a therapist’s office. Now, however, they’re recognizing that some of their problems might be easier to handle if they talk to a professional about ways to deal with them.

Since Medicare pays for therapy and psychiatric assessment, there’s no viable reason for a senior not to have an evaluation from a professional. Seniors are realizing that their time is more limited than it was and that they need to make the most of whatever years they have left.

Talk therapy is a good place to start when dealing with a senior’s depression and negative thoughts. If the patient is in full blown clinical depression, antidepressants may be in order – or some other type of lifestyle change such as diet and exercise.

Talking to someone neutral — especially a trained professional — about personal problems and fears can’t hurt and will likely give the senior a new perspective on life so they can become open to changes and new opportunities that present themselves in later years.

http://cures4health.com/talk-therapy-can-help-seniors-deal-with-depression/

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Nashville Community Outreach

Ashley’s Voice Community Outreach Group

Daily Marketing Services supports the non-profit Community Outreach group “Ashley’s Voice”. Ashley’s Voice provides Community Service information to the residents of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Connecting the Dots to helping people find the free services they need. Services include Medical Services, Palliative Care, Hospice, Caregivers, Victims of Violent Crimes, Veterans Benefits, Grief Counseling and Medicaid. Information – 615-673-2221

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About Alive Hospice

Lean on us when heartbreak and healing go hand in hand.
About Alive Hospice Nashville TN.

Ashley’s Voice Outreach Group
Would you like to ask questions about Hospice – Ashley’s Voice Outreach – 615-673-2221

Alive Hospice Nashville TN

Alive Hospice is a nonprofit organization that provides compassionate end-of-life care, palliative care, bereavement support and community education. Founded in Middle Tennessee in 1975, Alive Hospice is accredited by The Joint Commission and has held its Gold Seal of Approval for many years. It is also accredited by the National Institute for Jewish Hospices.

Alive Hospice entered the Middle Tennessee landscape in November 1975, only one year after the founding of the first hospice program in the United States. At the time, and through grassroots movements, other hospices also began appearing across the country. Like the group of individuals gathered together by Alive Hospice’s founders, Dr. David Barton and the late Dr. John Flexner, what unified those movements was compassionate people committed to helping patients live in comfort until death occurred and families to grieve with support.

Alive Hospice was chartered in 1975 as a nonprofit organization dedicated with three core goals: providing comprehensive care for terminally ill patients and their families; offering support for grieving adults and children; and serving the community as a center for research and education.

Today, Alive Hospice serves more than 3,600 patients and their families annually (more than 430 daily) and provides grief support services for nearly 600 adults and children in Middle Tennessee in addition to training for tomorrow’s caregivers and education for the community at large.


Our mission

We provide loving care to people with life-threatening illnesses, support to their families

and service to the community in a spirit of enriching lives.

Our vision

To be recognized as expert providers of hospice care, palliative care, management of

advanced disease and grief support and to be the agency of choice for the provision of

these services.

To be recognized as innovators and leaders in all aspects of end-of-life resources.
To influence the perceptions within the community and among medical professionals so

that the end of life is accepted as a meaningful component of the human experience.

Our values

We believe death to be a natural part of life’s journey.

We believe in honesty and integrity in all we say and do.

We believe in compassion to those we serve and to each other.

We believe in respect and dignity for all.

We value competent knowledgeable staff motivated to achieve personal and

professional growth.

We believe in accountability to society, our community and each other.

We believe in responsible stewardship of the resources with which we have been entrusted.

We believe in the continuous pursuit of organizational excellence.

We believe in teamwork to achieve our vision and mission, and to support our values.

Statement of Inclusiveness

As the only not-for-profit, community-based hospice in Middle Tennessee, Alive Hospice never turns anyone away, regardless of ability to pay, insurance status, race, religion, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, or disability.  We live our mission to provide loving care to people with life-threatening illnesses, support to their families, and service to the community in a spirit of enriching lives.

Nashville Victim Intervention Program

Victim Intervention Program (VIP)

“Putting Lives Back Together”

Want to ask questions about V.I.P ? Call Ashley’s Voice Outreach – 615-673-2221

When Someone You Know Is Touched By Crime

Victim Intervention Program logoWhenever a crime occurs, many people are affected — the victim, family members, friends and the entire community. The latest national statistics show that one out of four families in the United States will be touched by violent crime every year. Moved by the very real suffering of the people who make up these alarming figures, the Nashville Police Department developed the Victim Intervention Program as a way to help restore a sense of peace and balance to lives torn apart by violent crime.

The mission of the Victim Intervention Program of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department is to provide mental health services and criminal justice system advocacy whenever individuals, families, and/or the community are affected by violent crime. All services are free, confidential, and provided in an environment which supports cultural diversity: with respect to race, religion, creed, and sexual orientation.

Help Is Here

The Victim Intervention Program (VIP) was first launched in 1975 as a crisis counseling and victim advocacy program. VIP was founded on the idea that anyone who endures a trauma as a result of a criminal act should be offered free and immediate crisis intervention and follow up counseling. Staffed by mental health professionals, VIP is available to victims, their families, and other individuals in crisis who come in contact with the police department. Anyone victimized by a crime who wants counseling or court advocacy is eligible for services. A victim’s decision about prosecution does not affect eligibility.

A Wide Range of Services

As the number of violent crimes has continued to climb, the Victim Intervention Program has added services to fill a growing need. A professional and compassionate staff provides:

Crisis Intervention

A 24-hour on call service to victims and citizens involved in crimes reported to the police department.

Counseling

Professional counseling services to individuals, family members and others affected by crime and traumatic police related events. Support groups for victim populations are provided at various times throughout the year and referral services when appropriate.

Critical Incedent Debriefings

Group crisis intervention provided upon request when businesses, schools, or other groups are affected by violence.

Advocacy

Guidance, support, clarification and explanation throughout police and court proceedings.

Consultation and Training

A series of lectures and workshops for community groups and professionals that help to increase awareness and understanding of victimization issues and crisis intervention.

Information and Referral

Coordination and communication among physical and mental healthcare practitioners, social service agencies and the criminal justice system.

It’s Your Call

The main goal of the Victim Intervention Program is to help individuals and their loved ones reclaim a sense of health and well-being in the aftermath of a crisis. If you or someone you know is the victim of a crime, please call the appropriate number listed below.

VIP WEBSITE

Contact Numbers

Resource Phone number
Police Emergencies 911
Police Dispatcher (615) 862-8600
Sex Crimes Section (615) 862-7540
Youth Services Division (615) 862-7417
Domestic Violence Division (615) 880-3000
Domestic Violence Counselors (615) 880-3000
Victim Intervention Program (615) 862-7773
District Attorney’s Office (615) 862-5500
Victim Witness Services (615) 862-5500
TN Criminal Injury Compensation Program (615) 741-2734

Additional Resources

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome – Nashville TN

March 21, 2017

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome – Tennessee
CVS – Treatment

As of this date there are no Physicians in Tennessee that specialize in the treatment of

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome  ( CVS ). We are a none profit organization and we do offer free

resource information about CVS. Please contact us TODAY at 615-673-2221.

There is hope and a growing awareness of this cruel condition.

Dan Zellars
CVS Tennessee – Ashley’s Voice Outreach Resource Group

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Organizations Worldwide Join Forces to Educate and Promote Awareness

Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. Frankly and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you are affiliated with this page and would like it removed please contact pressreleases@franklyinc.com

SOURCE CVSA

Social media, newspapers, radio and TV stations can help spread the word about this complicated illness

More than 25 Countries will participate

MILWAUKEE, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On March 5, 2017, CVSA USA/Canada will be joining forces with CVSA Organizations throughout the world to promote awareness of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS).  CVS is a debilitating condition characterized by episodes of severe nausea and persistent vomiting, interspersed with periods of wellness.  Estimates show CVS affects about 2 percent of school-aged children.  Many of these children are misdiagnosed, and many adults are undiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed as having eating disorders.  Treatment often requires hospitalization, IV fluids, a number of medications, and sedation.  At it’s worst the disease can result in serious complications like tearing of the esophagus and even death.  CVS affects people young and old, all over the world.  CVS often prevents individuals and their families from enjoying normal lives.

Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and the USA along with more than 20 other countries are joining together to make sure that there’s a global, cohesive effort to make sure this condition is understood.  By working together with a cohesive, worldwide message we can make sure people know this a more common syndrome than they might think.  By sharing information and resources with one another we can reach both sufferers and those who still may be undiagnosed.

The Starfish Story

The Starfish Story: one step towards changing the world

You may have heard this one, but I find that it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of it every once in a while.  First let me tell you the story, and then we can talk about it.

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.  The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
We all have the opportunity to help create positive change, but if you’re like me, you sometimes find yourself thinking, “I’m already really busy, and how much of a difference can I really make?”  I think this is especially true when we’re talking about addressing massive social problems like tackling world hunger or finding a cure for cancer, but it pops up all of the time in our everyday lives, as well. So when I catch myself thinking that way, it helps to remember this story.  You might not be able to change the entire world, but at least you can change a small part of it, for someone.

They say that one of the most common reasons we procrastinate is because we see the challenge before us as overwhelming, and that a good way to counter that is to break the big challenge down into smaller pieces and then take those one at a time–like one starfish at a time.  And to that one starfish, it can make a world of difference.

 

“A single, ordinary person still can make a difference – and single, ordinary people are doing precisely that every day.”
Chris Bohjalian, Vermont-based author and speaker

Treatment of CVS in Adults

Developing Formal Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of CVS in Adults

When CVSA  was founded in 1993, it was thought that CVS was a condition of childhood and adolescence. Now we know that adults also suffer from CVS. There is CVS that begins in childhood and may extend into adulthood and adult onset CVS. As so many adults can attest, the condition causes untold suffering and disability, and often leads to family, school, and career upheaval.

Ashley's Voice
Doctor showing tablet to her patient in hospital room

With children’s guidelines already in place thanks to CVSA fundraising and our strong medical team, we are embarking on a partnership project that will help adult sufferers around the world. Partnering with the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS) www.motilitysociety.org, a strong medical committee of ten medical professionals has been formed to develop guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of CVS in adults. When completed, these guidelines will help doctors and ER personnel around the world understand how to diagnose and treat adult CVS patients more effectively.

Developing medical guidelines is a rigorous and expensive process, estimated to take two years. This is where you come in. CVSA is actively seeking financial sponsorship for this project through our membership and beyond. You can be part of this long overdue work of CVSA, the product of which will reach people still suffering in isolation with CVS. Please consider sending in a donation through our website.

© Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association (CVSA) • P.O. Box 270341, Milwaukee, WI 53227 • Tel: 414-342-7880
cvsa@cvsaonline.org

Funeral Decisions

Making Funeral Decisions

The Right Funeral Choices are hard to Make

When a loved one dies, there are plenty of decisions that will have to be made by his or her family. A potentially overwhelming number, in fact. It is a sad fact of the nursing profession that one of the most dreaded duties that a caretaker will have to perform is to ask the following question: “Which funeral home would you like us to call to make arrangements for the body?” That question carries with it a ton (actually several tons) of stress and grief that can come pouring upon a family member who has lost his or her beloved. And it just the first of a string of important decisions that must be made – often within a half hour or less. This article aims to help families be ready for that question and all the others that will follow it over the course of the next few days (or even weeks).

The easy way to make Funeral Decisions:

The best and easiest way to make funeral decisions is to take the time to plan things well in advance. Experts in a variety of fields — from psychology to financial planning to, of course, funeral planning — will all tell you that elders in a family owe it to their own piece of mind (as well of that of their loved ones) to make sure their final arrangements are planned, down to the very last detail and very last dollar, well before the time of need. And the experts all go on to say that it’s never too early to make these arrangements. Though people in their 20s rarely can be found to consider, and communicate, what should happen to their remains in the event of an untimely death, doing so can be a healthy experience. It is a practice of good stewardship to write one’s wishes and plans in detail and store the document in a very secure place known to several in the family. The very first sentence of this document would do well to answer the question that no nurse will ask out of eagerness: which funeral home should we call.

How to Decide who should make the Funeral Decisions:

But, even in the case in which a funeral has been planned in advance of need, there will still be at least a few details left uncovered. The deceased may have thoroughly explained his or her desire to be cremated or burried, or what to do with the cremation ashes, to scattering the ashes across various part of the state in which he lived or to have a water or ocean ash scattering. But, at the same time, she might have likely neglected to say which exactly which relatives should be mentioned by name in the obituary, or who should be asked to be a pall bearer at the open casket service he requested.

The questions, nevertheless, must be answered by someone.

The best way to do this is to organize an emergency family meeting (via telephone or video conference call, if need be) within 12-24 hours after a death. Whoever takes the lead in arranging the meeting should be prepared to also be selected the family’s spokesperson in dealing with the professionals who will be helping plan the funeral. But this person should not presume this selection in advance of the meeting. The most important item of business in this meeting would be to achieve a consensus about just who has the authority to speak for the family. In most cases, this authority need not necessarily be in writing, but, in the event a family has a history of litigiousness or even just a history of fairly routine strife, it might not be a bad idea to ask all present to sign a statement of some sort. A simple one or two sentence page will probably suffice in all but the most contentious of cases.

Establishing a Consensus:

Selecting a person to be the spokesperson for a family can greatly help in handing arrangmentsOnce a spokesperson has been selected, it then becomes his or her responsibility to be a democratic leader, taking all opinions and ideas into consideration before making any final decision. It is important for this leader to remember that his or her selection is not necessarily a license to plan things his way. Such an attitude could be detrimental to the long term healing of grief for many family members who have entrusted him or her to speak for them.

Consensus must always be the goal.

What to do in the event of Major Disagreements:

In the event of major disagreements over how to make funeral decisions for a loved one, the leader who has been selected as spokesperson for the family should consider adopting a humble spirit for the sake of harmony and consensus. That’s what any good leader would do, in fact.

A case in point:

One woman in Texas was selected as the family spokesperson after the death of her husband who had left conflicting instructions regarding his choice of burial versus cremation. Being a frugal woman, the wife’s first inclination was to simply have her husband quickly cremated and ask various family members to scatter portions of them over various parts of the United States in the coming months. This had been the wish of her recently departed brother-in-law, and her husband had always seemed glad for the opportunity to participate in that type of memorial. And besides, this decision was going to save thousands of dollars off the cost of her husband’s memorial service, a ceremony that, it was clear, she would be paying for almost entirely.

Families often have to make hard personal decisions in planning funeralsWhen the woman mentioned these plans to family members, she immediately began to sense that several were uncomfortable with it. For emotional reasons, these family members gradually expressed to her over the next day or so that they preferred to have their beloved relative buried in a traditional grave marked with a headstone that they could come and visit many times over the course of the rest of their lives.

The woman knew that honoring these desires would add thousands of dollars to her expenses, and it went against her spirit of economy and frugality.

But she conceded anyway.

Allowing this emotional blessing to her fellow family members who loved her husband as much as she did was simply the right thing to do, she decided.

Consensus, in the end, was worth much more than frugality. And that is often the case, families find, when they get down to the business of making funeral decisions.

Need help? Email us Info@AshleysVoice.Com

__________________________

Ashley’s Voice
Ashley McCaskill Zellars
http://AshleysVoice.com

 

Being A Caregiver – Esophageal Cancer

Being A Caregiver – S. Oxford Brentwood TN

It was the most honorable and fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. It also was the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever done.

My best friend and bandmate, Brian was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in June ’11. He’d had difficulty swallowing for 18 months or so and it was progressively getting worse. The tumor was near the top of his esophagus and at the time of discovery blocked about 75% of the passageway. It was deemed too large to surgically remove initially and radiation and chemotherapy were ordered to shrink it then we’d talk about surgery. First thing done was to put in the chemo port on his chest on the left side and a feeding tube through his abdomen since swallowing was so difficult. These two procedures were done at the same time. One night in the hospital and that was it.

Brain

Brian had no family here and was adamant they not be notified. He felt they had their own lives to live and didn’t have time/couldn’t afford to take the time off to come help and I said “I can handle it”..

Radiation was daily Monday thru Friday (except holidays) for 5 weeks. Each radiation treatment lasted about 45 minutes.  Chemo was every three weeks and it took upwards of 6 hours per treatment. Chemo was set up first on a Thursday and Radiation started the following Monday. The first course of these two treatments was to last 6 weeks – radiation for 5 weeks and three chemo drips. Then he’d get a month off to recoup.. I went with Brian to the first session of each then the following treatments and the rest of this course, he drove himself there and back. On chemo days I’d go over and stay with his dog but otherwise I’d call or pop over in the afternoon each day to check on him. The chemo started kicking his ass the Saturday after his 2nd drip. Nausea, the squirts, fatigue, no appetite.. It would last til Tuesday or Wednesday then he’d feel pretty ok for two weeks.. The radiation didn’t seem to affect him adversely until that first “off” period. Hair said bye bye, fatigue became a monster and his throat was on fire..

After that 3rd round of chemo and 5 weeks of radiation he was on treatment vacation. A week into that it became apparent I was needed full time so I packed up some clothes and toothbrush and moved in.. He was miserable. Needed help getting out of bed, getting to the bathroom.. He came to detest “eating” Ensure thru a tube into his stomach.. By this time a few close friends realized something was up but they were sworn to secrecy.. One of those in particular stepped up often to spell me for an afternoon and give Brian someone else to talk to, too..

It was wearing me down.. I can see that now, but I couldn’t then.. I was too focused on Brian. Sorting medical bills and insurance claims and managing medication (there was a LOT) and trying to get him to smile and feel better. I had tunnel vision.

That month was good for Brian. He felt pretty tolerable the last three weeks or so and his spirits was up..

After that “off” period of 4 weeks xrays were taken, measurements done. The tumor was shrinking as it was hoped but still too large for surgery. So, round two was ordered. Same radiation schedule and same Chemo schedule but with different chemicals.. The 1st chemo drip laid him out. Energy immediately sapped and he wasn’t able to drive himself now.. This round of treatment was identical to the first except I was driving and he had few if any “good” days.

Now it is November and round two is done. There was a little more shrinkage of the tumor but still not enough. To remove it and be sure they didn’t miss anything his voice box, part of his trachea and the flapper thing that closes off the trachea to keep liquids and food from entering the lungs would have to be removed. The risk of aspirating something into the lungs was high to say the least. Pneumonia would set in and in his condition he couldn’t fight it, it was thought.. Two surgeons from Vanderbilt Hospital as well as one from the Mayo clinic were consulted. All advised against surgery. As a matter of fact, two said they simply wouldn’t do it. So, back to oncology we go and we’re told they threw the best stuff they had at it in round two and asked if Brian would like to participate in a trial. It looked promising and, given, it was do the trial or do nothing but wait, Brian elected the trial. It was after the first of the year before that started – talk about paperwork JEEZ… More xrays and measurements done to establish the baseline for his part of the trial. The tests revealed the cancer had spread to his liver, lungs and bones.

This trial round would have no radiation component. It was chemo only and was scheduled for every two weeks. He started the second week of Jan and he rallied! It was amazing! He felt good.. Well, not good like you and I know but good for someone fighting cancer.. It was short lived though and when that feeling began to fade it faded fast! Plummeted is a better word. He was in a wheelchair by the 1st of Feb. On his 4th treatment of the trial chemo – mid March – he was too weak. The trial was ended. That was a Thursday. Appointment set with main oncologist for the following Thursday..

Brian’s brothers had been emailing and calling and at first he’d write back saying all was well and he phone was buggy that was why he wasn’t answering.. The Monday of the week we were to see the Oncologist one of his brothers wrote to me.. I could keep the secret a secret no longer. I spilled all the beans. Brian was dying right before my eyes. He was sleeping 18 hrs a day now. His brother arrived at 9 pm that Wednesday and Brian was already in bed. I hadn’t told him I’d told his brother who was sleeping in the next room.. That Thursday morning I woke Brian as usual and as I was helping him up to the chair to the pot and to get dressed for the doc appt, I told him that Tommy was there.. He smiled and said “thank you”. He saw my relief cuz I guess it was obvious.. He was happy to see his brother and I think it lifted his spirits..

When we saw the Doc he was shocked at how far Brian had slid.. Hospice was ordered. They came Friday.. Another brother arrived Saturday. And another Sunday. I stayed. I was happy to have the help and and was so very protective of Brian at the same time, I think I pissed off a couple of the brothers.. Sunday March 19th 2011 was an unusually warm day and we were all outside on the screened in porch, Brian included.. Was was not able to talk above a whisper but he talked and the brothers bonded.. It was beautiful.. About 5 pm we went back in and Brian settled into his favorite chair and dozed off.. He didn’t wake up again.. About 7pm, while Tommy & I was in the room watching tv, we heard Brian say, “home? This is home?” Tommy and I both said, “yeah, this is home” and he said “ahhh ok…” and kinda smiled.. at 12:02am March 20th, he took a big inhale of a breath. Head went back, eyes opened a bit and there was no visible or audible exhale and he was gone.. I think he left his body at 7 when he asked “this is home?” and his body lived on another 5 hours..

I had no idea of the effect it would have on me and I still don’t think it’s done… I had 3 months to process the last 9 months of Brian’s life, which passed like a blur, when my Mom was diagnosed with the big C.. She lived 6 months before dying at home. The treatment for her was chemo only. I had plenty of help with Mom. I, having just gone thru it, was considered the expert.

My Dad and Sister were the primary caregivers for Mom and I found myself looking after them more than anything.. Caregivers need care too.. I’ll say that again, caregivers need care too.. I wish I had some advise on how to prepare for that role in life. I could say “ be sure to take time for yourself too” but I know from experience, I could not take my own advise. Nothing else in my life mattered. I was laser focused on taking as much stress off those going through the horrors of cancer treatment as I could. Nothing else mattered.

S. Oxford – Friend of Ashley’s Voice

Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Please be an advocate for other caregivers that are assisting loved ones with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Add your comments to this post or let us connect to your posts.

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often used interchangeably as many people believe  that one means the other. In fact, the distinction between the two diseases often causes confusion on the behalf of patients, families and caregivers. Discover how the two diagnoses, while related, are remarkably different.
What Is The Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Alzheimer’s and dementia are still a mystery in many ways. This is why the two similar diseases are often mixed up in every day conversation and understanding. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), Dementia is a brain disorder that affects communication and performance of daily activities and Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that specifically affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language.

Read on to discover more particulars on how the two diseases vary and why there’s still a lot of scientific research needed—as well as public awareness—around these world-wide epidemics.

What is dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term for a set of symptoms including impaired thinking and memory. It is a term that is often associated with the cognitive decline of aging. However, issues other than Alzheimer’s can cause dementia. Other common causes of dementia are Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

According to the Center for Disease Control, Alzheimer’s disease is a common cause of dementia causing as many as 50 to 70% of all dementia cases. In fact, Alzheimer’s is a very specific form of dementia. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include impaired thought, impaired speech, and confusion. Doctors use a variety of screenings to determine the cause of dementia including blood tests, mental status evaluations and brain scans.

How Are They Different?

When a person is diagnosed with dementia, they are being diagnosed with a set of symptoms. This is similar to someone who has a sore throat. Their throat is sore but it is not known what is causing that particular symptom. It could be allergies, strep throat, or a common cold. Similarly, when someone has dementia they are experiencing symptoms without being told what is causing those symptoms.

Another major difference between the two is that Alzheimer’s is not a reversible disease. It is degenerative and incurable at this time. Some forms of dementia, such as a drug interaction or a vitamin deficiency, are actually reversible or temporary.

Once a cause of dementia is found appropriate treatment and counseling can begin. Until a proper diagnosis is made, the best approach to any dementia is engagement, communication and loving care.

The Need for More Public Awareness and Research Funding

While the differences between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are clear to families dealing with the diseases, more public awareness is needed to differentiate between the two. Further understanding of what exactly causes Alzheimer’s disease will help to clear any confusion and hopefully lead to better treatments plans and, ultimately, a cure.

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