Lewy bodies are a type of protein found in the brain that can build up too much. When that happens, it causes brain chemical changes. Those changes impact behavior, motor skills, mood, and thinking.
The Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia
It’s estimated that more than one million adults in the U.S. have Lewy body dementia. The first symptoms often appear in a person’s 50s, and they can progress for upwards of 20 years. It can cause many changes, including hallucinations, difficulty focusing and concentrating, and poor judgment.
Agitation and anxiety are common symptoms as Lewy body dementia progresses. Your dad may become delusional and paranoid. It’s not uncommon to find your dad becoming depressed or refusing to participate in things he once enjoyed. He’ll withdraw from social activities.
His nervous system may start to change. He might have difficulty maintaining his balance and fall easily. Incontinence and constipation are other issues he’ll face. You might discover his body temperature has a hard time regulating itself, and he’ll often feel too hot or too cold. His sense of smell may diminish and lead to him not liking foods he used to enjoy.
As Lewy body dementia worsens, around-the-clock care is an integral part of your dad’s care plan. He’ll need the support of 24-hour home care aides to help him navigate the changes and physical disabilities he faces.
How Do 24-Hour Home Care Services Work?
What happens when you hire 24-hour home care aides? The first of the caregivers arrives for their shift. When it’s time for their shift to end, a second caregiver is there to take over. You might have three or four caregivers working six or eight-hour shifts to provide 24-hour coverage.
If you care for your dad from dinner to bedtime, you can go to bed at night knowing someone is awake for him. You’re not going to lose sleep worrying about hearing your dad in the middle of the night. As Lewy body dementia can impact sleep, your dad may regularly experience insomnia.
Caregivers can help your dad with personal care and grooming. They can cook his meals, clean the house, drive him to appointments, and take him shopping. They’ll remind him when he needs to take his daily pills. As his mobility and gait change, they’ll support him as he walks from room to room or up and down his stairs.
Talk to your family about your dad’s care needs as Lewy body dementia progresses. Come up with a list of his care needs and any questions. Once this information is written down, call a specialist in 24-hour home care to discuss prices and schedules.