Dealing With Lewy Body Dementia
One of the most common forms of dementia is Lewy body dementia. Early signs of this disease can easily be confused with Alzheimer’s or even schizophrenia, according to nia.nih.gov. LBD can either simply develop over time or in combination with several other brain disorders.
This progressive disease does take a long time for symptoms to develop and show. Typically, the time span from diagnosis to death is 5-8 years, but some studies have shown 2-20 years is a possible range, as well. Here are the seven stages of LBD:
Stage 1: Normal Behavior
Individuals entrenched in stage one of LBD will show little to no signs at all of the disease. You will see no dementia symptoms and there will be no impact on the individual’s life at this point.
Stage 2: Mild Changes
You may not be able to notice anything wrong during stage two of LBD. Memory issues may be ignored and passed off as a normal part of aging.
Stage 2 Signs:
- Some difficulty finding words.
- Normal functioning in and outside of the home.
- Ability to overcome memory problems like finding the right words eventually.
Stage 3: Mild Changes
This is generally the stage where slight changes may become noticeable. You can see changes in the individual’s thinking and reasoning, while also seeing some memory issues.
Stage 3 Signs:
- Moments of forgetfulness.
- Beginning to have problems at the workplace.
- Trouble paying attention.
- Difficulty finding words and/or names.
- Trouble managing money and remembering appointments.
Stage 4: Mild Dementia
Despite the mild dementia symptoms, your loved one should be able to remember past events, family members and friends.
Stage 4 Signs:
- Forgetting familiar names and/or items.
- Forgetting where they placed important items like a phone or wallet.
- Decreased knowledge of recent events.
- Mistakes while driving.
- Difficulty problem solving.
- Increased issues with money management.
- Issues with daily tasks.
Stage 5: Moderate To Severe Mental Decline
While your loved should still be able to recognize friends and family, they may have increased trouble remembering past events. At this point they may need help performing routine daily tasks.
Stage 5 Signs:
- Personality changes and mood swings.
- Repeat same questions or thoughts.
- Memory gaps.
- Need assistance while eating or using the bathroom.
- Bladder problems.
Stage 6: Severe Mental Decline
The memory of the individual will really start to fade in stage 6. This may be the time to consider hiring someone for 24-hour at-home care.
Stage 6 Signs:
- Strong mood swings and obvious personality changes.
- Different eating habits.
- Getting lost.
- More bladder problems.
- Difficulty speaking in general.
- Lack of awareness.
Stage 7: Severe Dementia
The individual will no longer recognize loved ones. 24-hour care is a necessity during this final stage of LBD.
Stage 7 Signs:
- Loss of ability to eat, swallow and speak.
- Not able to use bathroom without assistance.
- No muscle control.
- Always disoriented.
- Loss of bladder/bowel control.
- May need to stay in bed constantly.
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