Lewy Body Dementia: Know the Facts

Lewy Body Dementia

Imagine an illness that causes your loved one to lose control of their movements and balance, devastates their cognitive functions, and eventually, causes them to vividly hallucinate. Their memory becomes foggy, and everyday activities, such as eating, dressing, and even using the toilet, become an hourly challenge. Nighttime brings no relief, as your mother, father, or spouse cries out and gestures wildly in their sleep in the wee hours of the morning.

These are the hallmarks of a disease known as Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). According to a recently published article on Lewy Body Dementia, this disease affects “somewhere around 1.3 million Americans” and is “the second most common form of dementia (after Alzheimer’s disease).”

What to Know About Lewy Body Dementia

The article lists facts about this serious, but often overlooked, disease that affects millions. Here’s what you need to know:

Lewy Body Dementia is:

  • Difficult to diagnose. A true diagnosis can only be made post-mortem, through a brain biopsy.
  • A form of dementia, LBD is related to Parkinson’s Disease Dementia and Alzheimer’s Dementia. Symptoms include: memory and cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, balance and gait changes, tremors, confusion and physical symptoms, such as blood pressure fluctuations, constipation and fainting spells.
  • Highly unpredictable. Symptoms affect every person differently and don’t follow stages or patterns in their progression, as some other dementias do.
  • Has no known cure. Though some medications can help manage certain symptoms, there are no medications shown to halt or stop the progression of LBD. Certain medications can even cause adverse reactions in people with LBD, so timely diagnosis and skilled medication administration are very important in the management of this disease.

Lewy Body Dementia is not:

  • It is not a normal part of the aging process.
  • Though it is often difficult to differentiate a diagnosis, it is not the same as Parkinson’s disease. If a person develops dementia within a year of their Parkinson’s diagnosis, they are generally thought to have LBD. Symptoms LBD shares with Parkinson’s include: shuffling gait, balance issues, and tremors.
  • It is not the same as Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD). Those with AD usually experience a worsening of cognitive and behavioral symptoms in the evenings, known as “sundowning.” LBD is much less predictable; dementia symptoms may worsen or lessen at any time, for any reason.

Lewy Body Dementia and Home Care

Lewy Body Dementia is a unique illness with unique challenges. It is a round-the-clock illness that puts serious strain on caregivers, especially as the disease progresses. It presents several challenges related to its variety of symptoms. Astute caregivers can help ease the situation for both the patient and family.  

  • High Fall Risks: As with other dementias, people with LBD have a high risk for falls, due to altered gait and balance, poor memory, and musculoskeletal decline. Home health aides can assist with activities, such as bathing, dressing, and other tasks around the home. A nurse or a social worker can perform an environmental assessment of your home to help reduce the risk of falls.
  • Medication Complications: A nurse can assist with medication management and administration, including monitoring medications that could potentially be dangerous for the LBD patient.
  • Caregiver Support: As LBD progresses, your loved one will likely suffer from delusions, hallucinations, memory problems, cognitive impairments and sleep issues. An extra set of hands during the day and an extra set of eyes at night can provide much-needed rest and peace of mind to a devoted and weary caregiver.

At the David York Agency, we understand how difficult and life-changing an LBD diagnosis can be. You do not have to be alone in your efforts to give your loved one the best care possible. Our experienced healthcare professionals are highly-trained and capable of providing the extra support and attention that a Lewy Body Dementia patient requires.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Home Health Aide Needed: Interview Yourself or Use an Agency?

Aging is often associated with a gradual decline in self sufficiency. Most elderly people prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible which often means that they will need help taking care of both themselves and their home. If you have decided to have an in-home health care aide come to care for your loved one in their home, you will want to make sure that they are compassionate and qualified.

These importanHomeHealthAide1t questions can help you interview your prospective home health aide:

  • Are they certified as a home health aide with special training patient safety, personal care and patient positioning?
  • Do they have experience with dementia patients?
  • Are they able to manage your specific healthcare, household and behavioral care needs?
  • What is their past work experience?
  • Are they able to provide references?
  • How long were they at their last position and why did they leave?
  • Are they available at the times needed?
  • Are they able to provide back-up if sick?

Hiring a home health agency can often relieve some of the stress that comes in hiring a home health aide. They take care of the initial interviewing process for you. A home health agency will pre-screen the aide to ensure that all of their certifications and credentials are valid and up-to-date as well as make sure that the aide’s skills specifically match your loved ones needs. An agency will check references and even conduct a criminal background check. Furthermore, should your aide be sick and unable to work on a particular day, an agency will provide your loved one with a qualified substitute.

David York Home Healthcare Agency is a leader in home health care in the New York metropolitan area. At David York Agency, we have a nurse talk to you as soon as you call to ensure that the aides sent to your door are specifically trained in the kind of care you need. We will discuss client cases in depth to work out every detail, easing the stress and concern of all parties involved. Potential clients can call for a free consultation today at 718-376-7755 or visit us at our website by visiting David York Agency. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google + or LinkedIn.

 

 

Signs my Relative May Need a Home Health Aide

How do you know when a parent or relative needs some extra help? It’s not always easy to come to terms with a loved one having difficulty caring for themselves. But there are some sure signs that it is time to enlist the services of a certified home health aide.

When someone is having difficulty performing two of the following Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), it is time to contact a home healthcare agency for a certified home health aide best suited to the situation.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL):Untitled2

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Grooming
  • Mobility
  • Transferring
  • Positioning
  • Feeding
  • Oral Hygiene

Bathing/Grooming/Self Care: If you notice that your relative is not grooming or caring for themselves, it may mean that they need additional help at home.
Unpleasant body odor, greasy hair, and dirty or well-worn clothes, may mean they have stopped doing laundry or are not bathing regularly and are also signs that a the relative may need a home health aide.

Mobility/Positioning/Transferring: If your loved one is not able to get around to do their errands or go the their appointments alone, you may want to seriously look into getting them a certified aide. If they can’t position themselves additional help at home will surely be required.

Food Preparation: If you notice that your parent is losing weight or not preparing healthy meals, it may be time to seek home healthcare. If they seem to have lost their appetite or are eating inconsistently, they may need some help with feeding to keep up their nutrition.

Taking this step can be difficult. This burden often falls on the family to recognize the signs that an aging parent might need help with the activities of daily living. However, there are home healthcare providers like David York Agency which is licensed by the State of New York Department of Health that can provide caring and attentive aides for your loved one. Their high quality home health aides care for your parent or relative making them as comfortable and as healthy as possible.

David York Agency can help you develop a plan to accommodate changes in your parents’ health. Their caring agency helps respect the wishes of your aging parent and fully involves them and the family in how they want to be cared for. This can minimize the anxiety and stress that occurs when quick decisions have to be made. Contact us today by visiting www.davidyorkagency.com, follow our Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages or call us at 718.376.7755.