As we get older, we need to familiarize ourselves with the details of medical conditions that we may not have thought all that much about before. Two key examples of this are Alzheimer’s and dementia. Below, you’ll find all of the information you need to know about these two important conditions.
You should think of Alzheimer’s as a type of dementia. Dementia is a general term that’s used when an older adult experiences mental decline that’s significant enough to impact their daily lives. That mental decline can be caused by several medical conditions, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease.
When a doctor uses the word dementia, what they’re referring to is a group of symptoms associated with mental decline. The mental decline in question could affect a person’s memory, their reasoning abilities, or other important thinking skills.
There are many different kinds of dementia, just as there are many underlying conditions that can cause it. About 60-80% of dementia cases are caused by Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is what’s known as a degenerative brain disease. It’s caused by the complex brain changes that take place following damage that occurs on the cellular level. One of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s is struggling to remember new information. As the disease progresses, it can ultimately lead to symptoms like:
If you or someone that you knew had Alzheimer’s, it would be correct to say that the person also has dementia. If you or someone that you knew was prescribed with having dementia, then it may or may not be correct to say that the person also has Alzheimer’s.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are some steps that you can take to limit the severity of your symptoms. For example, a doctor may prescribe a medication like Razadyne or Exelon if your Alzheimer’s is in the mild to moderate phase.
Other patients prefer alternative forms of treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Some people have reported that therapies like acupuncture, nutritional supplements, and herbal remedies help them feel better. These are options that are certainly worth trying if medication isn’t working.
Thankfully, your Medicare health insurance may be able to cover a significant portion of the costs you incur from treating these conditions. Your coverage may include diagnostic testing for dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as the costs of medication. Similarly, many people who have Alzheimer’s experience anxiety and depression. Medicare can cover the costs of mental health services related to treating these emotions.
Ultimately, the exact amount that you have you pay for dementia and Alzheimer’s treatments will depend on your Medicare plan. If you’re unsure about the extent of your coverage, consider contacting a partnered licensed agent at Time for 65. They can offer you more personalized information that can help you pick the right Medicare option for your specific needs.