Yep, there is a huge difference Linda. My Dad had Vascular Dementia and my Mom has Alzheimer's. You are right about the difference in thinking skills. Dad could rationalize a problem, he just didn't remember what he came up with because of the lack of short term memory. Yet in the later stages he had more rational thought process than Mom did in the mid stages of Alzheimer's.
I do not think facilities are always the answer. I do believe they should live where it is best for them but we do have to be acutely aware of the dangers and potential pit falls. I do see the big picture
I did try, very hard, to keep Mom and Dad at home. I do understand the benefits of keeping them in the familiar home they have lived in for years. In the beginning I was right with you in my thinking. I am not saying to uproot Mom and place her in a facility... I am just saying to be aware of the potential problems, be vigilant, and know that there will come a day when she can not be left alone.
My thinking shifted somewhere along the way. It's not all about their happiness and what they want. It's about their safety and what they need. We have to realize that the dementia (no matter what kind) does impair their thinking and ability to function. At some point they need 24/7/365 assistance. It is just a matter of when, not if!
I also know the wear and tear care giving has on an individual long term. This is not a quick in and out few months. I have been in the midst of care giving for my parents in some form since 1998!! That is 13 years. Just let the family do it and keep Mom at home sounds great in the beginning... but the told it takes on the care giver is monumental. Physically and emotionally it is draining. You do have to think about your own well being as well as Mom's.
You missed my point about the fire. If the house burns you do have insurance and that is just stuff. But if Mom doesn't know how to get out of the house that is different. It was the fact that Mom with her Alzheimer's nor Dad with his Vascular Dementia knew to get out of a burning house! At one point they went out to check the outside breaker panel and went back in despite the objection of the neighbor! Dad with his vascular dementia was in the lead there. And... the fire was caused by Dad who plugged the vacuum cleaner into the batter back up for the computer.
The other issue I had specific to Dad and his vascular dementia were the delusions. This is more predominate with Vascular dementia. His delusions were real to him and he acted on them. That caused him to wander. Then man who was normally happy sitting in his chair would suddenly get up and off he would go because of some deluded thought that had popped in his head. The first time was totally unexpected and it took us hours to find him. The last time was at 6 am, when it was 13 degrees, walking down the middle of the road to go to the courthouse.
Yep I was in the same frame of mind as you back in the day
But you live and learn and I am only giving you a heads up to the potential so you will be aware of what to look out for. There is no good dementia. There are differences but there are similarities and they all demand our vigilance