What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?

4

Have more questions and don't know where to turn?


Join our community and get access to monthly support calls, an online chat forum for questions, and even monthly 1:1 calls with Rachael! CLICK HERE for more information.

I get this question way too often, and it means that people are hearing the wrong information, or that it isn’t being explained well.

Here are the facts:

  • There are over 70 different types of dementia.
  • Dementia is an umbrella term.
  • Dementia just means “cognitive loss over time.”
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the MOST COMMON TYPE of dementia.
  • You can have Alzheimer’s and another form of dementia, or you can just have a completely different form of dementia,

If you went to the doctor and she said, “You have cancer,” you’d say, “Oh no, what type of cancer?” This should be the same question that you ask if you hear your loved one has dementia. You should say, “What type of dementia is it?” 

Like cancer, dementia is an umbrella term. Saying “Alzheimer’s and dementia” in the same sentence is like saying, “Skin cancer and cancer.” Everyone knows that skin cancer is a form of cancer, but, for some reason, people think that Alzheimer’s is a totally different thing than dementia. It’s not. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia.

Liked it? Take a second to support Rachael Wonderlin on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

16 things poster
Get the FREE “16 Things” poster!

You're not alone!

Get personal support from Rachael and connect with other Caregivers when you join our community.

16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia

Get the FREE “16 Things” poster for your personal use—or better yet—your dementia care community’s staff break room!

I wrote this poem years ago, but to date, it’s the most popular piece I’ve ever created.


When you sign up, you’ll also get access to Rachael’s weekly newsletter so that you can get her top tips, links to new content as soon as it’s released, and special offers directly in your inbox! We’ll never sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

16 things poster
Shopping Cart

Have questions?

Book a Dementia Detective
call and talk to a DBD expert!