Dementia and Delirium; Know the Difference

The Difference Between Dementia and Delirium

Cognitive impairment is more common as we age. Dementia and delirium are two common causes. Delirium and dementia have similarities and can be confusing to experience and to distinguish. Both can cause memory loss, poor judgment, a decreased ability to communicate and impaired functioning. However, there are many differences between the two.

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“Dementia resembles delirium in the same way an ultramarathon resembles a dash across the street. Same basic components, vastly different scale.” ~Floyd Skloot

Onset: Dementia typically begins slowly and is gradually noticed over time. If the person who’s being evaluated is unknown to you, having a report of his usual functioning is key. Delirium is usually a sudden or acute change in condition. One day, someone is doing fine, the next, they may be very confused and unable to perform tasks, like dressing.

Cause: Dementia is typically a disease such as Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, Lewy Body dementia, frontotemporal dementia or a related disorder. Delirium is usually triggered by a specific illness, including: urinary tract infection, pneumonia, dehydration, illicit drug use, or withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Medication interactions can also cause delirium.

Duration:   Dementia is a progressive, chronic disease that is incurable. Delirium is normally short term and can last for a couple of days to a couple of months. Delirium is almost always temporary if the cause is identified and treated.

Communication Abilities: People with dementia often experience difficulty remembering and finding the right words. Their ability to express themselves erodes over time as the disease progresses. Delirium may cause inappropriate and/or incoherent communication that is uncharacteristic for the individual.

Attention Span and Memory: With dementia a person’s memory is significantly affected throughout the disease. The level of alertness is typically not affected until the late stages of the disease. With delirium, memory functioning is usually less affected, but the general ability to focus and maintain attention is very poor.

Activity Level: Dementia tends to not affect a person’s activity level until the later stages. People with delirium are often overly active (hyper and restless) or under-active (lethargic and less responsive) compared to usual activity.

Treatment: There are a few medications approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. They don’t cure dementia but sometimes can slow the progression of the symptoms, including: memory loss, poor judgment and behavioral changes. Delirium requires immediate treatment by a physician. Because delirium is usually caused by a physical illness or infection, medications are often effective.

 

Sources: mayoclinic.org, merckmanuals.com, verywellhealth.com, alz.org

 

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease /Health Topics /Memory Care /Nursing /Senior Living /

Staying active in Memory Care

There are many ways that Copperfield Hill residents are staying busy during the Quarantine. No doubt, it has been a very challenging time. However, it is essential to keep busy and occupied with stimulating and safe activities that keep us all connected.*

*All activities follow social distancing guidelines.

Here are a few examples:

Manicures and Pedicures. Any day is a good day to relax and get pampered.

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Arts and Crafts. Nothing passes the time like a good craft!

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Enjoying the Secure Outdoor Patio. At Copperfield Hill we have a secure patio space for residents to get outside safely. Many like to sit outside and get fresh air, but this space also allows us to GARDEN.

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Celebrating Birthdays. You can never skip someone’s birthday. No matter what is happening in the world. We should always stop and celebrate the special people in our lives.

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Sing-A-longs.  We are very lucky to have musically talented residents. Music is a powerful tool with memory care residents.

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Coffee Hours. Even though we keep our residents busy during the day, it is important to take a seat and indulge in a cup of Joe.

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BINGO. We are consistently thinking of ways to reinvent the game. Our residents have enjoyed variations including: Traditional BINGO, Music BINGO and Candy Bar BINGO.

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Celebrating Holidays. We haven’t skipped any opportunity to CELEBRATE. Pictured below are moments from Earth Day, Memorial Day and Mother’s Day observations.

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Posted in Activities /Alzheimer's Disease /Memory Care /Senior Living /Uncategorized /

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

President Ronald Reagan designated the month of November as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in 1983. At that time, less than two million people suffered with the disease. Today, that number is now closer to five million.

Alzheimer’s disease is one type of dementia, which is characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem solving and other thinking skills that affect a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks and activities. It is the most common type of dementia.

Is there a cure? Currently there are no drugs or treatments to cure Alzheimer’s disease.

 

However, there are some treatments that can slow down the progression.   Research is constantly being done for new options with the goal of a cure.

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms can vary, but often include: memory loss, trouble solving problems, confusion about space and time, misplacing things, inability to retrace one’s movements and mood/personality changes.

There are ways to help people coping with the early stages of the disease. Help them keep a common daily routine, keep things simple and don’t have too many activities going on at once. Overstimulation can cause confusion and anxiety. Be reassuring and don’t try to change behaviors by reasoning.

*For more information visit: alz.org, mayoclinic.org and alzinfo.org.

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease /Health Topics /Senior Living /

Walk To End Alzheimer’s

Team Copperfield!

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It’s that time! The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 650 communities nationwide, this inspiring event is a display of combined strength and dedication in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Thank you in advance and please Join The Team – find out more information in our current events

 

Posted in About Us /Activities /Assisted Living /Independent Living /Memory Care /Senior Living /Staff /

New Website!

Welcome to Copperfield Hill’s new and improved website and our first blog post! We hope you’ll find this site a valuable resource and tool. The new website gives us a fresh look and feel and is also easy for us to update. This means that we’ll be better able to add news and information on a regular basis. When creating our new website we focused on maximum functionality and ease of use combined with higher quality of content. Basically we want to make sure that the good information is easy to find!

Our new website features in depth information on Copperfield Hill. Read the story behind Copperfield Hill – how Darrel Farr built it for his mother Elva, and how it is still family owned and operated. Meet our fantastic staff, view our floor plans, learn about the range of customized housing and healthcare services we provide as well as our “Life Without Loneliness” design, our unique activity and wellness programming and so much more.

One new feature we are particularly excited about is “Your Opinion Matters.” This feature allows you to easily tell us what you think, give feedback, or make suggestions. We can’t wait to hear everything you have to say!

Just as before, you are still able to access our current Activity Calendars, Menus and our monthly newsletter – the Copperfield Chatter. This way far-away friends and family members can experience what their loved ones are up to.

Our new website features lots of pictures and videos, making it easy to see what residents experience every day! Take a look at our building features as well as our beautiful campus and wonderful residents. If you are a new visitor we hope you enjoy getting to know us. If you are a returning visitor, we hope you enjoy getting to know us better!

We hope you will check our blog often for updates about Copperfield Hill, our residents, staff, resources and news on senior related issues.

As we continue to grow and adapt to the changing times, Copperfield Hill remains committed to providing quality senior housing with services. We strongly encourage feedback on our new website to continue enriching
the lives of our residents, their loved ones and future residents.

Posted in About Us /Activities /Assisted Living /Community Amenities /Community Living /Employment /Independent Living /Memory Care /Senior Living /Staff /Your Opinion Matters /