While many people use these terms interchangeably, they’re actually different. Dementia refers to the general decline in mental ability and cognitive function. Whereas Alzheimer’s is a specific disease of the brain and the most common type of dementia. It’s important to know the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s and to understand if your insurance policy covers these critical illnesses. 


Dementia describes the decline in cognitive function, including memory loss, difficulty with language, and impaired decision-making ability. It can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia, among others. 

Dementia can occur at any age but it’s more common in people over the age of 65, but it’s not a normal part of aging. It’s caused by damage to brain cells that impacts their ability to communicate. This affects thinking, behaviour, and feelings.

Symptoms of dementia include:

  • Difficulty with daily tasks
  • Changes in mood
  • Changes in personality 
  • Decline in memory
  • Decreased focus 
  • Poor judgement
  • Confusion


Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is a disease of the brain that’s marked by symptoms of dementia that get worse over time. Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-70% of all cases of dementia. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects memory, thinking, and behaviour. In this disease, abnormal protein deposits build up in the brain and cause the death of brain cells and the shrinking of brain tissue. Alzheimer’s is not a standard part of the aging process, but your risk increases as you age.

Since Alzheimer’s first affects the part of the brain associated with learning, the first symptoms often include issues with memory (specifically remembering new information), thinking, and reasoning. As Alzheimer’s advances, it gets worse, eventually leading to disorientation and even problems speaking, swallowing, and walking.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty problem solving
  • Challenges with planning
  • Changes in mood or behaviour 

Live More, Worry Less with CHUBB Critical Illness Insurance 

One in four men and one in five women are affected by critical illness before they reach retirement age. Your risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s depends on a variety of factors including genetics, age, lifestyle, head injuries, and medical conditions. That’s why you should always strive to stay healthy and seek treatment for any medical issues. 

Beyond that, a critical illness insurance policy can provide security and assurance for the future. After all, you never know what life’s going to throw at you. But, when you plan and prepare for your and your family’s future, you can live more and worry less.

Keep in mind that some insurance policies may only cover Alzheimer’s disease while others will cover both dementia and Alzheimer’s. So, it’s essential to understand your critical illness policy coverage. Knowing the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s will help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a critical illness insurance policy. 

Speak with an insurance agent to learn more about CHUBB’s Critical Illness Insurance, or, get your free quote.