Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) affects approximately 1.4 million Americans and is most common in individuals over the age of 50. Although the earliest Lewy Body Dementia stages may be difficult to detect, the condition progresses with time and will eventually cause significant life disruptions. Late-stage LBD is categorized as moderately severe cognitive decline to severe cognitive decline, and a full-time care partner will often become necessary in these stages. Not sure how to determine the right time to hire a caregiver? Here, we share the top signs that your loved one is ready for a full-time care partner.
Inability to Recall Important Information
Memory challenges are common even in the earliest stages of LBD. However, progression into moderately severe cognitive decline may cause the individual to have trouble recalling essential information, such as address or phone number. Additionally, those in the later stages of Lewy Body Dementia will likely experience difficulty keeping track of the day or time and may forget where they live.
Needing Assistance with Activities of Daily Living
When your loved one begins to struggle with activities of daily living such as bathing or getting dressed, this is an indication that it’s time to seek full-time care. Loss of motor control often accompanies the later stages of LBD, and individuals with moderately severe to severe cognitive decline will likely experience difficulty using the restroom alone and may become incontinent. A care partner can help your loved one achieve a better quality of life, and the right caregiver will provide emotional support and reassurance through times of confusion and frustration.
Difficulty Walking and Speaking
LBD symptoms often include signs of Parkinson’s disease, such as a shuffling walk or abnormally slow movements. With time, these symptoms usually worsen and those living with late-stage LBD may lose the ability to walk unassisted. In addition to a change in gait or decreased mobility, the later stages of dementia make it more challenging to speak clearly and communicate. When these symptoms of severe cognitive decline are present, it’s almost certainly time to bring in a full-time care partner to assist with daily living.
If your loved one is showing any signs of cognitive decline, consider reaching out to a medical professional for an exam. Since Lewy Body Dementia is often misdiagnosed, it’s best to seek help from a doctor who has experience with LBD. Regardless of the stage that your family member is currently in, coping with Lewy Body Dementia is challenging and requires a strong support system. If you’d like to learn more about Lewy Body Dementia stages or simply need a listening ear, our team is here to help. We can assist you in finding care partners or medical professionals, so please contact us via email any time. Our helpline is open seven days per week, and you can also reach us at 516-218-2026.