What Different Types of Dementia Are There in Elderly Adults?

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If you have a loved one who has dementia, you may have many questions, like:

  • What are the different names for dementia?
  • How many types of dementia are there?
  • What different types of dementia are there?
  • The most common type of permanent dementia is what?
  • What is Lewy Body Syndrome?

It’s common for people to know that dementia and memory loss are related, but they often don’t know any specifics about dementia or the types of dementia symptoms. Most people also aren’t aware that dementia is the general term for memory loss, and there are different types of dementia in elderly adults. 

Additionally, dementia often affects an individual’s lifestyle and ability to live independently. As a result, most people with dementia eventually need hands-on help with daily life tasks—help that family members may not be able to provide.

If you’re interested in learning more about the most common forms of dementia and how to care for a loved one with dementia, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’re providing expert information on dementia and sharing which diseases fall under dementia. You’ll also learn how to get professional in-home care for an elderly loved one with dementia.

Keep reading to get greater insight into different dementias, like Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

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The Different Types of Dementia in the Elderly 

Dementia is the general term for memory loss that interferes with someone’s daily life. Elderly adults 65 years and older are at the highest risk for dementia, but there are cases of early-onset dementia at 30, 40, or 50.

To help you understand more about dementia, here are some common questions and facts about this memory loss disease.

How Many Types of Dementia Are There?

There are many different names for dementia, depending on how the disease affects the brain.

So, what different types of dementia are there?

The 10 types of dementia that most commonly appear in elderly adults are:

  1. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  2. Lewy body dementia
  3. Alzheimer’s disease
  4. Frontotemporal dementia
  5. Huntington’s disease
  6. Mixed dementia
  7. Normal-pressure hydrocephalus
  8. Posterior cortical atrophy
  9. Parkinson’s disease
  10. Vascular dementia

However, some of these types of dementia in the elderly are more likely to appear in your loved one than others.

What Is the Most Common Form of Dementia?

The most common type of permanent dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for 60-80% of all dementia cases. Experts still aren’t sure what causes Alzheimer’s exactly, and there’s also currently no cure. 

With Alzheimer’s, changes in the brain begin by affecting a person’s short-term memory. As a result, they have trouble remembering new information, like names and places. But like other forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, and its symptoms worsen over time.

What Is the Second Most Common Type of Dementia?

Alzheimer’s disease is by far the most common type of dementia.

However, a few other types of dementia in the elderly that are also common  include:

  • Lewy Body syndrome
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Vascular dementia

Here’s a quick look at these three different types for dementia in more detail.

What Is Lewy Body Syndrome?

Lewy Body dementia accounts for 5-10% of all dementia cases. It’s a type of dementia that’s linked to minor brain abnormalities, called Lewy Bodies, that form in the affected individual’s brain. These abnormalities are formed by naturally occurring proteins,, but experts aren’t sure what causes these proteins to form Lewy bodies.

Those with Lewy Body dementia often experience symptoms common with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, including:

  • Trouble thinking and reasoning
  • Movement difficulties (e.g., hunched posture, rigid muscles, etc.)
  • Sleep disturbances

Individuals with Lewy Body dementia are also known to experience hallucinations and delusions.

What Signals Huntington’s Disease Onset?

Another common dementia is Huntington’s disease. 

Huntington’s Disease dementia is genetic and is caused by a defective gene on Chromosome 23. Since it’s genetic, individuals with parents who have Huntington’s disease are also likely to have it.

Huntington’s disease onset is usually visible around the age of 30-50 but can happen earlier or later. Its symptoms are heavily related to uncontrollable body movements and changes in mood, like depression and anxiety.

Is Vascular Dementia Linked to Lewy Body Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Experts have found that the vascular brain changes associated with vascular dementia coexist with Lewy Body dementia and Alzheimer’s.

With vascular dementia, blood flow is reduced in or blocked from certain areas of the brain, depriving brain cells of oxygen. This lack of oxygen leads to brain cell death and a decline in the affected individual’s mental and physical condition. 

What Types of Dementia Symptoms Are Most Common?

Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning that its symptoms worsen over time. The most common sign of dementia is short-term memory loss, which leads to difficulty remembering:

  • Where they place items
  • Appointments and events
  • New names or places
  • To eat or drink regularly

In the early stages of most dementias, symptoms aren’t severe and the individual can still function independently. Family members (adult children or a spouse) often have a relatively easy time caring for their loved ones with dementia at this point. 

However, as dementia progresses, it can affect the individual’s physical abilities, mood, and behavior. Eventually, most people with dementia need around-the-clock care as they lose their ability to dress, eat, and move around independently. 

In this late stage of dementia, family members often require professional caregivers to provide care for their loved ones.

Professional In-home Care for Your Loved One With Dementia

Dementia is the term for memory loss that begins to affect someone’s ability to live independently. However, most people don’t realize that many different types of dementia are common in elderly adults.

In this article, we looked at dementia specifically and answered some of the top questions, like:

  • How many types of dementia are there?
  • What is the most common form of dementia?
  • What is Lewy Body syndrome?
  • What types of dementia symptoms commonly occur in seniors with dementia?

Unfortunately, every form of dementia is permanent, and there are no known cures. As dementia symptoms progress and worsen, individuals with dementia often need increasing levels of care and supervision.

Family members can often provide some care, especially in the early stages of dementia. However, there may come a time when your loved one needs more care than you’re capable of giving.

At Stowell Associates, we know how to provide hands-on care to elderly adults with dementia. Our process is highly personalized, ensuring that your loved one receives the care they need at all times. First, Stowell Care Managers work with you and your loved one to create a care plan tailored to your loved one’s needs. Once they finish the care plan, our highly-trained caregivers enter your loved one’s residence and put the plan into action. We also offer a wide range of care services, from short-term respite care to long-term 24-hour care.

Contact us today to speak with a Care Advisor about how in-home dementia care can relieve your care burden and improve your loved one’s quality of life.

In-home elder care solutions in Southeastern Wisconsin

Contact us for a free consultation

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