Lewy Body Dementia is the second most commonly diagnosed form of dementia, following only Alzheimer’s disease. Characterized by the presence of deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the nerve cells throughout the brain, LBD is a term that is used to describe both dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia. As a family caregiver it is important to know that early diagnosis of this condition, just as it is with other forms of dementia, is critical to the proper management of the degenerative illness. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia can help you to detect when your senior may be developing this condition, or if their disease is progressing and they may need further care.
Some of the signs and symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia include:
- Movement disorders. A symptom that is very similar to the closely-linked Parkinson’s disease, movement disorders experienced by those who suffer LBD include tremors, slowed movements, shuffling or scraping feet in their walk, and rigidity throughout their muscles.
- Hallucinations. LBD impacts specific regions in the brain and one of the symptoms that is related to this is the presence of hallucinations. Visual hallucinations are most common and are often one of the first symptoms that a senior who is living with this condition will notice. These include seeing things that are not there, such as people, animals, or just shapes. While not as common, it is possible that a person with this condition will also experience tactile, auditory, or olfactory hallucinations as well.
- Cognitive problems. When most people think of dementia they think of the cognitive functioning changes that are very common. This applies to LBD as well. Your parent might experience memory loss, confusion, changes in attention span, issues with visual-spatial problems, and other changes.
- Sleep issues. Those who are dealing with LBD may exhibit issues with their sleep patterns. This can include REM sleep behavior disorder, which involves a personal acting out what is happening in their dreams while they are sleeping.
- Emotional changes. Your senior might experience changes in their emotional state or behavior, which might include depression or apathy.
If your senior loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia or their challenges and limitations have become too much for you to handle effectively and efficiently, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a schedule that is right not just for their needs, but also for you as their family caregiver. This means that you can give them the amount of care that you are able to and that you feel comfortable providing, while also knowing that they will receive the highly personalized services that they need to remain safe, healthy, comfortable, and happy while managing their individual needs in the way that is right for them. A care provider can also help your parent to maintain as much independence and activity as possible as they age in place, enabling them to enjoy a life that is as engaged and fulfilling as they can throughout the progression of their condition.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Lake Forest, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.