Lewy Body Dementia may not be a frequent topic of conversation for you. Many people have never even heard of it, but Lewy body dementia vies with vascular dementia as the second most common type of dementia. As the Lewy Body Dementia Association puts it, this type of dementia is “surprisingly common.”
The wide range of symptoms described by the word “dementia” involves decline in memory and thinking skills that interfere with a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
Remember, dementia is not a disease, it is a syndrome that can be brought on by a number of different diseases, conditions and other causes. The wide range of symptoms described by the word “dementia” involves decline in memory and thinking skills that interfere with a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Lewy body dementia, while it shares basic symptoms with its famous relative Alzheimer’s disease dementia, has a personality of its own.
So, what does Lewy body dementia look like? Of course not everyone affected has the same combination of symptoms. In this dementia, however, an individual’s mental abilities may fluctuate more than in other dementias. There may extreme shifts in attention and alertness. Two other common features are sleep disturbances and visual hallucinations. Lewy Body Dementia symptoms overlap with both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and can be misdiagnosed.. A checklist to consider before a doctor’s appointment can be found here.
There is support available for families faced with a Lewy Body Dementia diagnosis. Though there is no cure, there is treatment, including physical and occupational therapy. There are resource organizations like the Lewy Body Dementia Association. There are commonsense care-giving tips here. There is practical help from compassionate professionals like our Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers. Our local Baton Rouge Home Instead franchise office also offers family education on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, which gives tips and strategies for dealing with a loved one’s dementia challenges. The local office also hosts a family caregiver support group which meets 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month. Details are available at 225-819-8338.
So, although the condition may be more common than many people believe, there is more support than many people realize. If you or someone you know must live daily with Lewy Body Disease, take action.