Although it is second only to Alzheimer’s as a cause for dementia in the United States, very few people have heard about Lewy body dementia. If your aging parent has been diagnosed with this type of dementia, a good working knowledge of the disease process can help ensure that you provide him or her with the best care possible.
When a senior is living with Lewy Body dementia, deposits of protein (called Lewy bodies) accumulate in the areas of the brain that control cognition and memory, as well as some motor skills and bodily functions. Albuquerque dementia care specialists report that these deposits interfere with the functions that this portion of the brain controls, especially as the disease progresses and can lead to symptoms which are often similar to those of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
The symptom of Lewy Body which family members have most difficulty coping with is the vivid, realistic hallucinations patients can experience. These hallucinations often take the form of animals or humans, and patients will frequently have animated conversations with people who are not there. Other symptoms of the disease include tremors, a shuffling gait and muscle rigidity, all of which are common symptoms of Parkinson’s. The disease can also interfere with the body’s basic functions, causing fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure along with bowel incontinence. When all symptoms are present, completing day to day activities can be difficult for the patient and their caregiver.
Although there is no cure for the disease, meeting with your aging loved one’s primary care physician can help treat the symptoms of the condition to make it easier to complete daily routines. In addition to common medications to help reduce hallucinations, immobility and memory and mental functioning, physicians may also suggest assistance from an outside caregiver. As your loved one’s needs progress, 24/7 home care in Albuquerque may be required to ensure safety and comfort at all times.
If you have an aging parent or loved one who is living with Lewy Body and you need help with their care, contact Home Care Assistance today. We offer flexible hourly home care in Albuquerque and all of our caregivers are trained in how to assist seniors with complex care needs. Call 505-798-0800 to speak with a Care Manager and schedule your complimentary, in-home consultation today.