Lewy Body Dementia, or LBD, affects around 1.4 million people in the United States. It’s a disease that ultimately affects both the person who has received the diagnosis and their family members. That’s because it is a form of dementia that gets worse as time goes on. Eventually, people with LBD need extensive, round-the-clock care. One of the first steps in becoming a caregiver to someone with LBD is learning as much about the condition as possible, which can help you to be better prepared for the future.
What is LBD?
LBD occurs when deposits, called Lewy bodies, develop in the brain. They affect the way a person thinks and moves. These deposits are named Lewy bodies after the scientist who first noticed them while working in the laboratory of Dr. Alois Alzheimer during the early 1900s.
The cause of LBD is not known at present, but research is ongoing. Scientists believe there are probably several factors at work. Both a person’s genetics and their environment may play a role. Although there may be a genetic component, that does not mean it runs in families. In fact, most people who are diagnosed with LBD do not have a relative with the disease.
LBD causes a wide range of symptoms and affects people differently. This means that a symptom can affect one person, but not another, so that the experiences of people with LBD can be vastly different. Some of the symptoms of LBD are:
- Alterations in the way a person thinks or reasons.
- Difficulty performing complex tasks that involve planning.
- Alternating times of confusion and alertness that change from one part of the day to the next or from day to day.
- Motor symptoms of Parkinson’s, such as stiff or rigid muscles, trouble with balance, and a stooped posture.
- REM sleep disorder, which involves the person physically acting out dreams while they are sleeping.
- Significant memory loss.
Planning for the Future
Because LBD is progressive, it’s important to start planning for the senior’s care when the disease gets worse. One way to do that is to hire an elderly care provider. Elderly care providers come to the patient’s home to assist family members with their care. They can come to stay with the older adult when family caregivers are unable to be there. Or, elderly care providers can come even when family members are there to handle care aspects so that families can focus on spending time together rather than on care. Elderly care providers can help to keep the person safe when dementia may cause them to do things that could cause them injury. Elderly care providers can also perform household tasks, like cleaning, laundry, and meal preparation.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider elderly care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.