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Dementia vs Alzheimer's: Which is it?

Understand the difference - and why it matters. 

By Kathleen Fifield


"The terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” have been around for more than a century, which means people have likely been mixing them up for that long, too. But knowing the difference is important.  In the simplest terms, one is broader than the other. If the two were nesting dolls, Alzheimer’s would fit inside dementia, but not the other way around..."



Alzheimer's Documentary Series- PBS


What can we, as individuals, do about Alzheimer’s? Over 5 million people are living with a type of dementia in the United States with no immediate sign of a cure through pharmaceuticals alone. VPM’s three-part documentary series regarding dementia explores how person centered care and lifestyle changes can improve the quality of life for persons living with dementia.



The 36-Hour Day

A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias

Nancy L. Mace, MA, And Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH


There may be updated editions of the book - if interested, please check to make sure you have the most updated version.



Alzheimer's Association Online Education Webinars


No one should face dementia alone. Many of our community education programs are now online! Register today and learn from the comfort and safety of your own home. Each webinar is held live with time for Q&A. Please note that all webinars are listed in Pacific Standard Time (PT).



DAC Dementia Road Map


The Dementia Action Collaborative (DAC), established in 2016, is a statewide group of public-private partners committed to preparing Washington state for the growth of people with dementia. The DAC includes a range of appointed members including people with dementia, family caregivers, legislators, representatives of advocacy groups, the Aging Network, Alzheimer’s organizations, long-term care providers, health care professionals, and governmental agencies, including Aging and Disability Services and several other Area Agencies on Aging.

An important accomplishment in 2018 was the creation of the Dementia Road Map. This Washington state-specific “roadmap” was developed to provide family caregivers with information about Alzheimer’s and dementia, and what to expect over time, to help them plan. The roadmap is available online and in print (available in English and in Spanish).



Alzheimer's Caregiver Network Workshop

  • Four hour workshops (in-person and virtual)

  • Paired with the comprehensive Dealing with Dementia guidebook, a 350-page detailed workbook designed to help caregivers

  • Participation in the Dealing with Dementia workshop is proven to increase dementia knowledge and confidence in the caregiver’s ability to provide care

  • Attendees who complete the workshop will receive a copy of the Dealing with Dementia workbook



Teepa Snow

 Dementia Care Partner Talk Show with dementia educator Teepa Snow



Activity in the Later Stages of Dementia - Social Care Institute for Excellence

Advanced Dementia: A Guide for Families (PDF)

The purpose of this guide is to provide information to the family members and individuals responsible for making health care decisions for patients with advanced dementia. The guide is or- ganized into 10 sections. The topics and contents for these sections were devel- oped by health care professionals, including geriatricians, nurses, palliative care specialists, and medical researchers, based on their clinical experience and the latest research in the field of advanced dementia. Family members of patients with advanced dementia have also contributed to the guide in order to reflect their viewpoints and concerns.


Supporting a Person in the Later Stages of Dementia - Alzheimer's Society

The later stages of dementia can be a challenging time both for the person experiencing dementia and for those close to them. Find out what you can expect and where you can get help and support.


The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) delivers a free library service to anyone in Washington who has difficulty using regular print materials because of a visual, physical, or cognitive limitation, or a temporary or permanent reading disability. This free library service provides books and magazines in audio and braille formats. All materials, including playback equipment and accessories, are sent free by mail, or can be downloaded to a smart phone or tablet.  

For more information call 1-800-542-0866 or email


King County Library System

Caregiving by KCLS_Older_Adults - a staff-created list : Caregiving was one of the hottest topics at the latest White House Conference on Aging. Paid and unpaid caregivers experience a variety of stressors unique to this difficult yet often rewarding work. Check out these companion guides for your caregiving journey.



The Brookdale Foundation Group Publications 


-Brain Boosting Activities: A Resource Guide for Facilitators of Early Memory Loss Programs   

-How to Start and Manage a Group Activities and Respite Program for People with Alzheimer's Disease and Their Families: A Guide for Community-Based Organizations

-Field of Themes: 100 Activities for Our Senior Friends

-How To Plan and Implement an Early Memory Loss Program

-Promising Practices in Encouraging & Supporting Grandparents and Relatives

-Developing Rural Relatives As Parents Programming: Promising Practices- A Collection of Practice Wisdom from Across Rural America



A Typical Dementias - Book 

Author Jamie Talan presents a broad overview of atypical dementias such as FTD by exploring the lived experiences of dozens of families affected by a diagnosis, and by sharing her own experiences from her career as a medical writer. Talan also tells the stories of many prominent researchers who made key breakthroughs in studying atypical dementias, including AFTD Medical Advisory Council members such as Bruce Miller, MD, and M.-Marsel Mesulam, MD.


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