We understand that living with Parkinson's disease (PD) or Lewy body dementia (LBD) can be challenging for you and your loved one. However, there are critical differences between the two states, mainly because these conditions are neurodegenerative disorders that can cause similar symptoms, including movement problems, cognitive decline, and changes in mood and behavior.
That’s why this article will provide helpful information and resources about both conditions and some key facts for assisted care living professionals. Keep reading.
Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia: Overview
What is Parkinson's Disease?
- Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects movement
- It is caused by a decrease in dopamine production in the brain
- Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps to control movement
- The symptoms of PD typically develop gradually over time and can vary from person to person
Common Symptoms Of Parkinson's Disease
- Tremors: Involuntary shaking of the hands, arms, legs, face, or head
- Stiffness: Increased muscle tone that can make it difficult to move
- The slowness of movement: Bradykinesia is when is difficult for people to initiate movements, such as getting out of a chair or starting to walk
- Postural instability: Difficulty maintaining balance and coordination
- Other symptoms: Fatigue, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and cognitive decline
What is Lewy Body Dementia?
- Lewy body dementia is a type of dementia that is characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies in the brain
- Lewy bodies are abnormal protein deposits that can damage nerve cells
- The symptoms of LBD typically develop gradually over time and can vary from person to person
Common Symptoms Of Lewy Body Dementia
- Visual hallucinations: Seeing things that are not there
- Delusions: False beliefs
- Fluctuations in cognitive function: The person's cognitive function may fluctuate daily or within the same day
- Other symptoms: Memory loss, difficulty thinking, problems with attention and concentration, changes in mood and behavior, sleep problems, and falls
Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia: Similarities and Differences
PD and LBD’s Similarities
PD and LBD’s Differences
How Can PD and LBD be Treated?
Treatment for Parkinson's Disease
Treatment for Lewy Body Dementia
The main goal of treatment for PD is to improve the symptoms and maintain a good quality of life. Treatment options include:
The main goal of treatment for LBD is to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life. Treatment options include:
How Can Assisted Living Help?
Assisted care providers aid with activities of daily living (ADLs), provide cognitive support, and offer behavioral support. Read on to learn about its challenges, as well as its benefits.
What are the Challenges of Living with PD or LBD in Assisted Living?
Some unique challenges can be faced by seniors and their families living with PD or LBD in an assisted care setting. These challenges can include:
- Communication challenges: People with PD or LBD may have difficulty communicating their needs. This can be frustrating for the person with the condition and their caregivers.
- Behavioral challenges: People with PD or LBD may experience behavioral changes, such as apathy, depression, anxiety, hallucinations, delusions, and sleep disturbances. These changes can be challenging to manage in an assisted care living setting.
- Caregiving challenges: Caring for someone with PD or LBD can be physically and emotionally demanding. Assisted care living can provide much-needed relief for caregivers.
What are the Benefits of Living with PD or LBD in Assisted Living?
There are also some benefits to living with PD or LBD in assisted care living. These benefits can include:
- A safe and supportive environment: Assisted care living can provide a safe and supportive environment for people with both conditions. This can help to reduce the risk of falls and injuries, and it can also give a sense of community.
- Personalized care: Assisted care providers can provide customized care to meet the needs of people with PD or LBD. This improves their quality of life and maintains their independence.
- Respite for caregivers: Assisted care living can provide much-needed pause for caregivers. This can help to reduce caregiver stress and burnout.
Finally, if you or a loved one is living with PD or LBD, assisted living can be a valuable resource. At Vista Springs, we offer assisted living services to help people with these conditions maintain their independence and quality of life. Talk to your doctor or a trusted healthcare professional to learn more about assisted living.