Dementia With Lewy Bodies (cont.)
Like other types of degenerative dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, DLB is gradually progressive.
- DLB eventually affects a person's job performance. Many people with DLB take early retirement from their jobs.
- The person with DLB will eventually lose his or her ability to drive safely. Driving privileges should be addressed by the caregivers and care team.
- Eventually the person will lose the ability to care for himself or herself.
- DLB shortens life expectancy.
The rate of progression varies considerably, but most people die within 5-7 years after their disease is diagnosed. The cause of death is usually a complication of the disease.
- People with the disease develop severe dementia and eventually may have only limited ability to move.
- They are at risk of falls because of poor balance and walking difficulties.
- Many have difficulties swallowing, which leads to poor nutrition and sometimes pneumonia (because food goes into the lungs instead of the stomach).
- They eventually become immobile, which can lead to skin problems, pneumonia, and other complications.
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