7 Stages Of Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) can either develop slowly over time or quickly when combined with other brain disorders. LBD is one of the most common forms of dementia currently, according to nia.nih.gov. On average, LBD does take a long time to start drastically altering an individual’s life. A typical lifespan of someone suffering from LBD is between 5-8 years. However, some recent studies have concluded living 2-20 years with LBD is possible.
Early Signs Of Lewy Body Dementia
Typically, LBD is identified by three stages: early, middle and late. The first few signs of this disease may include mild delusions or hallucinations. Individuals may act out dreams while they are sleeping. Slight movement difficulty has been noticed as an early sign of LBD, as well.
Memory will stay intact for the most part during the early stages, yet moments of confusion are common. Slight cognitive changes can be noticed early on. Below are details on the 7 stages of LBD.
Stage 1: No Noticeable Changes
The first stage of LBD will typically go unnoticed by friends and family. The individual suffering from LBD will exhibit no signs of the disease, which will seemingly have zero impact on their daily life.
Stage 1 Symptoms:
- No signs of LBD.
Stage 2: Mild Changes
Stage 2, much like the first stage, will result in little to no changes in the individual’s personality/behavior. At this point in time, memory issues may simply be passed off as a normal part of aging.
Stage 2 Symptoms:
- Some difficulty finding the right words.
- Normal functioning inside/outside the home.
- Demonstrates ability to overcome memory issues.
Stage 3: Noticeable Behavior Changes
Stage 3 is typically the stage where behavior changes will become noticeable. Friends and family will be able to see changes in the loved one’s thinking, reasoning and actions. Memory issues will persist at this point.
Stage 3 Symptoms:
- Problems at the workplace, if applicable.
- Difficult time paying attention.
- Trouble recalling names.
- Money management issues.
Stage 4: Mild Dementia
Individuals enduring stage 4 of LBD will still be able to recall friends, family and past events, despite persistent struggles with mild dementia.
Stage 4 Symptoms:
- Forgetting names and items.
- Issues with daily routines.
- Forgetting important life moments.
- Driving issues.
Stage 5: Moderate To Severe Decline
During stage 5, individuals will likely still remember friends and family, but memory issues will intensify. At this point, individuals may need assistance performing routine daily tasks.
Stage 5 Symptoms:
- Personality changes.
- Mood swings.
- Memory gaps.
- Repeating same things.
- Bladder issues.
Stage 6: Severe Mental Decline
Memories will begin to fade quickly during this LBD stage. It is strongly recommended to hire someone for round-the-clock home care.
Stage 6 Symptoms:
- Unusual eating habits.
- Getting lost/confused.
- Lack of awareness.
- Strong mood swings.
- Trouble speaking.
Stage 7: Final Stage LBD
Sadly, the individual suffering from LBD will no longer recognize friends and family during this final stage. 24-hour care is necessary.
Stage 7 Symptoms:
- Loss of ability to eat, swallow and speak.
- Bathroom assistance needed.
- Loss of bladder/bowel control.
- Bed ridden.
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