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Understanding Memory Care: What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia


In addition to Independent Living and Assisted Living, Sagora Senior Living is proud to offer Memory Care living options for our residents. As we understand that Memory Care can be a sensitive subject and perhaps confusing and overwhelming for family members, we have launched a blog series devoted entirely to Memory Care. Our hope is that we provide educational resources, answers to frequently asked questions and support as you navigate your loved one’s Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis.

When discussing memory care, the terms Alzheimer’s and dementia are often used interchangeably. It’s important to note that these terms are not one in the same and have key differences. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a specific disease. Dementia is not. The below key facts of Alzheimer’s and dementia are listed below as reported by The National Alzheimer’s Association.


Key facts of dementia:

  • Describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, reasoning or other thinking skills.
  • Many different types of dementia exist, and many conditions cause it.
  • Mixed dementia is a condition in which brain changes of more than one type of dementia occur simultaneously.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of dementia cases.
  • Dementia is not a normal part of aging. It is caused by damage to brain cells that affects their ability to communicate, which can affect thinking, behavior and feelings.


Key facts of Alzheimer’s:

  • Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that is caused by complex brain changes following cell damage. It leads to dementia symptoms that gradually worsen over time.
  • The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is trouble remembering new information because the disease typically impacts the part of the brain associated with learning first.
  • As Alzheimer’s advances, symptoms get more severe and include disorientation, confusion and behavior changes.
  • Eventually, speaking, swallowing and walking become difficult.
  • There is currently no way to prevent, cure or even slow Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Though the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is increasing age, the disease is not a normal part of aging. And though most people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older, approximately 200,000 Americans under 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.


At Sagora Senior Living, we’re here to help our residents and their loved ones navigate their Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis with purposeful programming, chef-prepared meals designed to meet nutritional goals and compassionate associates who are dedicated to providing an exceptional senior living experience. If you’d like more information or would like to speak to one of our Memory Care experts, contact us here.

Do you have questions? We have answers.

At Sagora Senior Living our goal is to be accessible to our residents and their families, our future associates, and our customers. To that end, we look forward to hearing from you.
(817) 446-4792