Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy body dementia is named after the German doctor who first identified Lewy bodies or abnormal protein deposits that develop in the brain. Lewy bodies affect the nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory and movement (motor control). Eventually, Lewy bodies cause cell deterioration and cell death.
People with Lewy body dementia may experience visual hallucinations and changes in alertness and attention. Other effects include Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow movement and tremors. Anxiety, depression, poor regulation of bodily functions, cognitive degeneration and fluctuating attention.
There is no known cause of Lewy body dementia and no known risk factors have been identified. There is also, no evidence that Lewy body dementia is an inherited disease.
It is a good idea to see your GP. If you’re worried about early symptoms of dementia. If it is a friend or loved one, encourage them to make an appointment, and perhaps suggest that you go along with them.
Your GP can do some simple checks to see if there is a chance you could have dementia and they can refer you to a memory clinic or another specialist clinic, if necessary. You will be asked about your symptoms and have a physical check-up and memory test. You may also have blood tests and brain scans.
The Daughterly Care Approach
People with Lewy body dementia have the same emotional needs as any other person, except their feelings are heightened and become increasingly important. For that reason, emotional awareness is the key to increasing their sense of wellbeing. Helping people with Lewy body dementia to live well at home with a highly personalised managed service is our aim at Daughterly Care.
We use best practice techniques such as Validation Therapy, which recognise the unique value of a person’s subjective experience and Reminiscence, which understands that revisiting the past through life history can improve wellbeing.
Our Caregivers are trained to support people with Lewy body dementia and help them explore their hobbies or interests. They engage in creative therapies such as music and the arts which, are proven to have a positive impact on wellbeing. Other Services we offer include:
- Personal care
- Respite care for families
- Social activities and lifestyle support
- Support with memory impairment and cognitive issues
- Cooking and meal planning
- Housekeeping – cleaning and laundry
- Household management/administration
- Mobility support
- Shopping and trips outdoors
Often, people with Lewy body dementia and their families request hourly care for one or more of the above services. However, as the condition worsens, more care is usually needed and many of our clients ask for our Live In Care solution. Live In Care allows the person with Lewy body dementia to stay in the familiarity of their own home while receiving the highest standard of care from a one-on-one Caregiver. People with Lewy body dementia are often prone to confusion and disorientation, meaning a residential care home may not be the best environment for those coping with the condition.
The Australian Government subsidies in home care through their Home Care Package program. Discover how much they subsidise here
* Please call and speak with one of our friendly office staff who will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.
Adapted for Daughterly Care from: Alzheimer’s Australia (2016) https://www.fightdementia.org.au