Are Lewy Body Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease the Same Thing?

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

June 22, 2017

Elder Care in Fox Chapel PA: Lewy Body Dementia vs. Alzheimer's Disease
Elder Care in Fox Chapel PA: Lewy Body Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s Disease

In your role as a family caregiver one of the issues that you are likely to worry about is the possibility of dementia. Finding out that your parent has a progressive condition that will make a dramatic negative impact on your parent’s functioning and capacity to care for themselves throughout their later years can be overwhelming and leave you worried that you are not going to be able to care for your senior in the way that you planned, or the way that you believe that they deserve. Educating yourself on dementia and the type of condition that your parent is actually experiencing is one of the most important steps that you can take to help you understand what your loved one is dealing with and what you can do to help them deal with their condition as they age in place.
Lewy Body Dementia is one of the most common forms of dementia.
Also referred to as dementia with Lewy bodies, this condition is a progressive, degenerative form of dementia that is characterized by a wide variety of symptoms including changes in cognitive functioning, attention span, and physical abilities. If you are like many caregivers, as soon as you hear the word “dementia” your first thought is Alzheimer’s disease, which can leave you with the question as to whether LBD and Alzheimer’s disease are the same thing.
The answer to this is no. Dementia with Lewy bodies is the second most commonly diagnosed form of dementia following only Alzheimer’s disease. Though widely considered to be largely underdiagnosed, there are approximately 1.3 million people throughout the United States who are living with this condition. This term is actually used to describe both dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia because both conditions feature the same basic biological changes within the brain. Unlike in Alzheimer’s disease, LBD features the development of protein deposits, known as Lewy bodies, throughout the brain. These build up in the nerve cells, eventually leading to damage and diminished functioning capabilities.
If your senior loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia or their challenges and limitations have become too much for you to handle effectively and efficiently, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a schedule that is right not just for their needs, but also for you as their family caregiver. This means that you can give them the amount of care that you are able to and that you feel comfortable providing, while also knowing that they will receive the highly personalized services that they need to remain safe, healthy, comfortable, and happy while managing their individual needs in the way that is right for them. A care provider can also help your parent to maintain as much independence and activity as possible as they age in place, enabling them to enjoy a life that is as engaged and fulfilling as they can throughout the progression of their condition.

If you or an aging loved one are considering  elder care in Fox Chapel, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551