Everyday Home Care Tips For A Patient With Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a type of dementia that affects people who have Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or both. People with LBD may experience hallucinations, delusions, and memory loss. Because they often forget how to do things, they may need help at home. Lewy bodies are protein deposits that accumulate inside nerve cells. They can appear in many different types of brain cells, including those involved in memory, thought, speech, movement, vision, and balance.
As they build up, these cells may begin to die off and cause problems. In some people, these changes cause a disease called Lewy body dementia (LBD). These days, LBD is not widely recognized as a specific condition and is often lumped together with Alzheimer’s disease. But we know that it is a serious illness with symptoms that can affect daily activities, abilities, emotions, and relationships. And we know that it cannot be cured or prevented. Read more below to learn about home care tips for a patient suffering from Lewy body dementia.
Importance Of Proper Care For A Patient With Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy body dementia is characterized by cognitive decline, motor impairment, and behavioural disturbances. It is caused by abnormal accumulation of alpha-synuclein protein in neurons, leading to progressive loss of brain tissue. Symptoms begin slowly with mild memory problems and difficulty with daily activities. As symptoms progress, patients may experience hallucinations, delusions, depression, anxiety, apathy, and agitation.
Lewy body dementia affects about 1% of people older than 65 years of age. Lewy body dementia is an insidious disease. However, there are many things you can do to help your loved ones cope with the symptoms and slow down their progression. Knowledge is key and it can help you start conversations about Lewy body dementia. You also need to be proactive and secure support. Finally, change your lifestyle to avoid getting sick. These simple steps will help you keep your health and well-being.
Here are a few tips to help a person who has been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia live well at home.
Understand What Lewy Body Dementia Is.
There is no cure for LBD. There is the only treatment to slow its progression. If someone has been diagnosed with LDB, it means their brain is showing early signs of damage. There is currently no test to diagnose LBD. Your doctor may refer to it as “progressive supranuclear palsy” (PSP) if he/she suspects the diagnosis. People with PSP have similar symptoms to people with Parkinson’s Disease but don’t have tremor caused by Parkinson’s.
Know The Risk Factors.
Lewy body dementia affects men more often than women by a ratio of three to one and usually occurs later in life, beginning at sixty-five years or older. Men are also twice as likely to die of this condition than women. However, there are a few exceptions. Women who are younger than fifty years old have a higher chance of dying of Alzheimer’s disease than men do of having Lewy body dementia.
The other exception is when both parents have Lewy body dementia. Then, children have a 50% chance of developing it. Women under thirty-nine years old who carry the apoE-4 allele are at an increased risk of getting the disease. Family history and carrying the apoE-2 allele increase risk tenfold. Finally, having diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or stroke increases the risk of developing the disease fourfold.
Get Regular Check-Ups.
Regular check-ups are important for any condition, especially one with symptoms that change over time. Keep track of appointments and doctor visits. Write down reminders about upcoming appointments and make sure someone knows where to find the appointment notes. If someone has been experiencing dizziness or falls while walking, the first step should be to get checked out right away. Regular visits to a neurologist are critical for monitoring progress and identifying potential complications.
Say No To Clutter.
Clear out any unnecessary items around the house. You don’t want your loved one to get confused or get lost in the house. Try using some visual cues to guide the patient. Visit caremountain to learn tips for creating visual guides. Place pictures of family members and friends throughout the house to remind them of who lives here. You can also create a daily routine for your loved ones. Include activities that he/she enjoys doing, such as watching television or listening to music.
Exercise Is The Key.
Exercise is an integral part of maintaining brain health. Exercise improves cognitive function, decreases depression, boosts energy, and reduces stress. It also helps you to maintain your weight, which is essential for keeping your brain healthy. However, exercise alone will not prevent Lewy Body Dementia. It might take some time before you see changes in exercise habits. Regular exercise is good both mentally and physically. But exercise alone won’t help you fight with LBD. Encourage the patient to change his/her lifestyle habits first.
Be aware and compliant with Medications.
Ensure your loved one takes their meds at right time. When you see that they aren’t taking them, remind them. You will also need to check if they have missed doses recently. Remember, skipping medicines can worsen the situation. However, taking medication doesn’t mean the patient needs to stop exercising – just be aware of how it affects the patient. Certain medicines can make an individual feel restless, agitated, and confused. Ask your doctor or Registered Nurse any questions you might have before starting to give any new medications to the patient.
Apply Non-Pharmacological Approaches to help manage pain & discomfort.
Pain and discomfort can become disabling issues for some individuals living with Lewy body dementia. Try talking to the healthcare team about ways to manage pain and discomfort without relying on strong medications. Medications that are prescribed to control pain or agitation can increase confusion. Instead, opt for some medically-proven, non-pharmacological approaches to help your patient manage his/her discomfort and pain.
It’s not easier to deal with LBD. But with Caremountain, the challenges can be little eased. Browse www.caremountain.com to learn more about the disease and homecare tips.