When we hear the word dementia, most of us tend to think of Alzheimer’s disease. The fact is, dementia is not a specific disease, but more of an umbrella term to describe a syndrome or a collection of symptoms.
Types of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body, vascular and other less commonly known diagnoses, all of which could require dementia care services. After Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body disease is the second most common type of progressive dementia.
But what is Lewy body disease? Here, we’ll take a brief look at some of its symptoms and how the right dementia care services can help families and loved ones cope with the disease.
A Diagnosis Made by Observation
When someone is suspected of having Lewy body dementia, it’s usually because he or she has begun to exhibit symptoms that, when taken in totality, suggest the presence of the disease.
People with Lewy body dementia, as with many dementias, suffer from a progressive decline in thinking and memory, making independent living more and more difficult. Lewy body often accompanies advancing Parkinson’s disease (but not always). Common symptoms of this type of dementia include sleep disturbances, hallucinations, and depression.
There are a few risk factors associated with developing Lewy body dementia, including
age (60 or older), gender (men are more likely affected), and family history. There is also compelling research that suggests a strong link between Lewy body dementia and a sleep disturbance called REM behavior disorder (RBD). People who suffer from RBD earlier in life have a greater chance of ultimately showing signs of Lewy body dementia or, also on that spectrum, Parkinson’s disease.
Anyone who has had a loved one with any form of dementia knows how challenging that can be, especially as time goes by. That’s why it is so important to realize that you have options and that you are not alone in the demands of caregiving. Depending on how progressed the disease is, there are a number of ways caregivers can be there for their loved ones and still find relief from some of the responsibilities of care. These include:
- In-Home Care: In-home care is a good choice for those individuals who are still reasonably independent. This service can include companion care, assistance with personal hygiene and medications, running errands and prepping meals, and light housekeeping.
- Adult Day Care: This option is especially good for caregivers who work during the day. These centers provide elderly loved ones a safe place to be social and to participate in staffed activities such as music and exercise programs. Many also offer meals, physical therapy, and personal care.
- Long-Term Care: There may come a time when a loved one living with Lewy body dementia (or any other form of dementia) will require more care and supervision than can be provided at home. A long-term care facility may be the answer. Different types of communities provide different levels of care, depending on the person’s needs, and a senior care advisor can be a valuable resource to help you decide on the right one.
- Respite Care: Sometimes a care community offers a short term stay for someone whose family just plain needs a break from the demands associated with caregiving. An Eldercare Placement Advisor can give you information on how to find such facilities and what the requirements and associated costs might be. Often there is a minimum stay of anywhere from one week to a month. Many times, this is just the break a caregiver needs to refresh and rejuvenate themselves.
Let Senior Care Authority Help You Help Your Loved One
Senior Care Authority advisors can help you find providers with expertise in evaluating cognitive change in your older loved one. All our advisors are Certified Dementia Practitioners who add a depth of knowledge and insight into what can be a very complex situation. While we do not diagnose, we can help you create a plan of action when you notice behavior changes.
To find out more about the dementia care services that may be available to you, get in touch with Senior Care Authority today.