Many people mistakenly believe that Dementia and Alzheimer's are two separate diseases. In fact, "dementia" is the umbrella or overview of all the symptoms: Short term memory loss, can't find the right words, repeating things over and over, getting lost, can't follow directions and numerous other symptoms.
There are many diseases that cause Dementia such as Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia, etc. Alzheimer's is the most common disease that causes Dementia. All forms of Dementia are a roller coaster of good and bad days with symptoms getting progressively worse over time. As the disease progresses, people lose their short term memory and most often are fixated on the past. They may not remember what they had for breakfast, but can describe their childhood in great detail. In simple terms, the more they progress in their disease, the further they go back in their minds. It is very common for someone in mid/late stage Dementia to look for their parents, to talk about events they experienced in their childhood and focus on past events because that is what is familiar to them as their short term memory has faded.
You may also hear someone has a diagnosis of "Behavioral." This is not the same as Dementia. The definition according to HealthGrades.com: "Behavioral symptoms are persistent or repetitive behaviors that are unusual, disruptive, inappropriate, or cause problems. Aggression, criminal behavior, defiance, drug use, hostility, inappropriate sexual behavior, inattention, secrecy and self-harm are examples of behavioral symptoms". When someone is classified as Behavioral, they may have a history of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, or other mental disorders. In some cases their behaviors may be caused by medication or other factors. If the behavior is something new, then it is very important to have a "psychological evaluation" to determine what is causing the behaviors and in some instances they can be managed or reversed.
If someone has a Behavioral diagnosis, they should not be in a Memory Care unit. A memory care unit is a secured environment for people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or any form of Dementia. If someone is Behavioral, they need care that is different than what is offered in Memory Care and should be receiving specialized treatment for their behaviors.