Dec 26, 2012

DLB Characteristics

"DLB (Dementia with Lewy Bodies) has three defining symptoms in addition to dementia:  fluctuating attention and alertness, visual hallucinations, and parkinsonism." Mayo Clinic

It still surprises me when people in the field of elder care do not know what the characteristics of DLB are; afterall, DLB is the second most-occurring type of dementia, after Alzheimer's Disease.  The nurse at the assisted living facility, who has been gone for a few weeks, said to me with apparent surprise, "Dwane recognized me right away."  To which I was tempted to reply, "Well, of course he did."  The memory difficulties we associate with Alzheimer's Disease are not present in DLB.  There are some memory difficulties in DLB, but not the type where the person does not recognize where he or she is at, or the identities of other people.  Dwane still recognizes people he taught many years ago, as well as those people he knows currently.  As caregivers, one of our responsibilities is to help others - including those in the elder care world - understand the specific and unique characteristics of Dementia with Lewy Bodies - because people who have DLB have unique needs and strengths -- quite different from those people who have Alzheimer's Disease. 

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