Lewy Body Dementia can be a challenging disease to diagnose and treat, as its early symptoms are similar to a host of other conditions. Once your loved one has received a diagnosis, proper care can go a long way in managing the progression and preserving quality of life. If you’re planning to play a role in caring for someone with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), consider the tips we share here:
Focus on Positive Communication
Lewy Body Dementia symptoms often include a change in personality, and hallucinations or delusions may also be present. To help your loved one remain calm, communicate in a positive manner. Be sure to focus on maintaining a pleasant tone of voice, and use approachable facial expressions to help the patient feel safe and secure. When appropriate, using physical touch can have a reassuring effect for individuals with Lewy Body Dementia.
Use Language That’s Easy to Understand
When caring for someone with Lewy Body Dementia, the words you choose matter. While there may be little to no cognitive changes in the early stages of the disease, mid-to-late stage patients may have a difficult time remaining alert and attentive. When communicating with an individual with LBD, make an effort to use inclusive language that’s easy to understand. In addition to using simple and direct communication, be sure to speak clearly and deliberately. When asking questions, it’s best to keep your queries brief and easily answerable. Yes or no questions are likely the best choice, as open-ended questions may lead to confusion and frustration.
Offer Fun and Enriching Activities
A Lewy Body Dementia diagnosis shouldn’t mean the end of fun and meaningful daily activities. In fact, LBD patients benefit greatly from a consistent routine and stimulating exercises. When choosing activities to offer your loved one, take their interests into consideration and tailor the schedule to their needs. For example, if the person in your care has always loved animals, pet therapy could be an excellent avenue to explore. Taking the family dog for a short walk or inviting a therapy animal into the home can bring joy for all involved and provide a weekly or daily treat to look forward to. If you’re on the search for enriching activities for those with LBD, take a look at the ideas mentioned here.
Lewy Body Dementia affects approximately 1.4 million Americans, and our mission is to provide support and resources to LBD patients and their care partners. Caring for someone with Lewy Body Dementia can bring rewards and challenges, and it’s important to seek support throughout the process. If you’re in need of additional information regarding LBD or would like to share your experience, our team is here to help. Our helpline is available seven days per week, so feel free to give us a call or send an email.