Taking care of someone with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is undeniably challenging. If you’re a caregiver (either by profession or by obligation as a family member) and your patient has this illness, you definitely can relate to this. LBD is a disease that is identified with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein located in the brain. Relatively, deposits are called Lewy bodies which impact chemicals in the brain, which can result in mental problems, mood, and behavior.
This dementia form is the second (after Alzheimer’s disease) of the most common type of this disease. The said protein deposits build up in the nerve cells that engage in memory, thinking, and movement.
Signs and Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia to Watch
Lewy body dementia results in a progressive drop in mental capabilities and abilities. LBD patients may suffer from visual hallucinations, as well as noticeable changes in attention and alertness. More so, the other effects include signs and symptoms similar to what people with Parkinson’s disease are experiencing like tremors, slow movement, and rigid muscles.
Does your senior loved one have dementia, but you just don’t know what form of the illness it is? You will be able to determine it through this article. Below are specific signs and symptoms of LBD you should watch and monitor:
- Visual or photographic hallucinations – This is one of the first symptoms you’ll see in your senior loved one, and it can recur. Relatively, with this symptom, he is likely to see animals, shapes, or even people who are actually not physically there. Even sound, touch, or smell hallucinations are possible with this sign.
- Movement symptoms – This symptom is more likely occurring in individuals who have Parkinson’s disease dementia. Specifically, movement disorders include rigid muscles, slowed movement, a shuffling walk, or tremor. All of the said signs may result in falls.
- Poor regulation of the autonomic nervous system- This LBD sign includes pulse, sweating, blood pressure. Also, the digestive process is controlled by a portion of the nervous system that’s frequently impacted by LBD. Consequently, the aging individual may feel dizzy, encounter falls, and suffer from bowel issues like constipation for one.
- Cognitive issues – Your parent or grandparent may encounter cognitive or thinking problems as what the Alzheimer’s patients are experiencing. This symptom may include poor attention, memory problems, confusion, or visual-spatial issues.
- Sleep disorders – You may experience a problem known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder. Such a disease can cause the patient to act his dreams while sleeping physically.
- Changing or unstable attention – With this symptom, the elderly may suffer from episodes of drowsiness, song naps during the day, long periods or hours of staring into space or disorganized speech.
- Indifference or a feeling of apathy – With this symptom, the patient may experience a loss of motivation.
- Depression – This is typical, especially during the Lewy Body Dementia.
7 Tips to Consider for Proper Handling with Lewy Body Dementia
If an elderly loved one, or your patient (as a caregiver) went through some diagnosing of LBD and is found to be positively having the illness, don’t worry too much. That’s what these tips are here for–to guide you through the proper handling of seniors with LBD:
- Always include the patient in the activities – Do this whenever and wherever possible. The older adult is less likely to feel anything negative if you include him in everything like eating at a restaurant or watching a movie. Incidentally, as the illness develops and the patient’s participation during conversation decreases, he will still enjoy being with your group and hearing about the stories you share.
- Have that advocacy to help the patient – Indeed, doctors play a vital role in managing this type of dementia. Nevertheless, this your effort and advocacy in helping the elderly is the key to making the patient feel better.
- Be consistently sympathetic – Once you’ve confirmed the LBD diagnosis and signs of early stages of the illness have shown, it’s time to show your sympathy to the patient. In addition, when he starts hallucinating, respond as if you also see, feel or hears has he does. Definitely, this will help you get through the situation.
- Promptly respond to the patient in any situation – Play along with him whenever and wherever it is safe. Say, the senior you are providing care for is hallucinating, and he tells you he is at a hotel instead of a care facility, pretend that you believe him. Therefore, you should act as if you are taking him to his hotel room or have a facility staff acting as hotel personnel take him to his room.
- You should always be alert or watchful – A dramatic change in the patient’s cognitive is an early sign or part of the risk factors of LBD. Therefore, it is essential that you closely monitor his behavior and movement and see if the illness has progressed.
- Be present all the time – If the patient asks, let him know who you are. Similarly, if you are a family member in charge of taking care of the elderly, mention some of the things you and your senior loved one did together. More so, you can sing or dance some of the songs you sang and danced together.
- You should always be approachable – Do not give people with LBD the chance to keep a distance from you. So, you should always show them and let them feel you are there to assist them anytime.
Your Companion in Your Journey Through Lewy Body Dementia
If you have no idea about LBD and you are not confident with your handling of the situation, let Innovative Homecare Solutions, Inc., help you. Undoubtedly, our experienced caregivers can assist you with anything you need for the older adult in your family.
Call us today (+1-630-225-0100) for your senior family member’s free assessment. With us, you will surely get the deserving pay for live-in care.