A comparison of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's, dementia, and general memory loss.

by Garden of Palms

A comparison of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's, dementia, and general memory loss.

Memory care, a specialized form of assisted living, cares for elderly individuals with different forms of memory and cognitive disorders. It caters to the individual’s needs and is based on different disease conditions. There are various kinds of memory and cognitive disorders and each individual suffering from different disorders is cared for in a personalized manner.

Alzheimer’s is one of the most common degenerative memory diseases that affects elderly adults.

This disorder is marked by cognitive and behavioral impairments that interfere with social and occupational functions. This disorder affects the hippocampus which is involved in encoding memories, spatial memories and recalling memories. Alzheimer’s disease is classified into mild, moderate and severe forms based on the symptoms and signs of the disease. People with mild Alzheimer’s will show memory loss, and confusion, take significant amounts of time to do daily tasks, have issues handling financial tasks, have compromised judgment, changes in mood, personality, and increased anxiety. In the moderate form apart from the above, they will have difficulty in logical thinking, and they’ll experience agitation, delusions, hallucinations, loss of impulse control, and motor impairment such as trouble getting out of a chair. In the severe form of the disease they will have weight loss, acute memory loss, and notable communication problems.

Adults with Alzheimer’s will need different levels of specialized care.

In assisted living and memory care, specialized staff will care for these individuals. They will be able to provide the optimal care needed by people in various stages of Alzheimer’s. They will provide agitation relief, friendly environments, assistance with taking medication to suit for each stage of the disease, assistance in performing various tasks, and provide activities to relieve anxiety customized for each individual. Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediate stage in between the accepted normal cognitive decline and more severe dementia. People suffering from mild dementia will forget things more frequently, forget important events, have difficulty in finding ways and difficulty in navigation, anxiety, depression, and aggression. These individuals do not have severe signs and symptoms as with Alzheimer’s patients. In a memory care community they are provided specialized care, helping with cognitive enhancement tasks like helping them keep personal calendars, and guiding them through exercises to improve memory and cognitive abilities.

In residents with dementia, they would have symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty in finding words, difficulty in problem-solving, confusion, disorientation, difficulty in coordination, depression, paranoia, and agitation. In memory care there is customized care plans just for people with dementia which involves verbal support, vocational therapy, helping them cope with depression, special facilities, and safe environments to reduce anxiety and paranoia.

In general memory loss, which is another type of memory disorder, people often suffer from depression, inability to recognize the family members, inability to perform daily functions, confusion, disorientation, motor disabilities and difficulty in coordination. In an assisted living community with memory care, they will be provided specialized facilities to reduce anxiety, and have access to specialized individual care and support in performing daily tasks.

Each memory disorder and cognitive impairment case present different signs and symptoms.

Memory care provides advanced assisted living care for the people suffering from different disorders by understanding their individual needs and designing personalized care plans around those needs. Advancements in memory care have greatly increased the health and well-being of older adults in the United States and have helped make assisted living the most popular long-term care option.

If you’re seeking a memory care community in Los Angeles for a family member or loved one, please contact us for more information or to schedule a tour.


Li, X., Hu, N., Tan, M., Yu, J., & Tan, L. (2017). Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Kar, N. (2017). Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and their management. PubMed Central (PMC). Retrieved 7 September 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3038531/

Langa, K., & Levine, D. (2014). The Diagnosis and Management of Mild Cognitive Impairment. JAMA, 312(23), 2551. http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2014.13806