1.4 million Americans have Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), and their care partners play an essential role in maintaining the best quality of life. In many cases, a spouse or family member is the primary caregiver for a loved one with dementia. This can ensure a high standard of care for the individual, but care partners often experience distressing emotional symptoms themselves. If you’re caring for an individual with Lewy Body Dementia, don’t hesitate to seek help and support when necessary. To promote your own happiness and well-being, consider the coping strategies we share here:
Make Sure Goals Are Realistic
LBD and other types of dementia cause cognitive changes, and the personality of your loved one may change as the disease progresses. This can be scary and frustrating for care partners, and particularly for those who have a close relationship with the individual with LBD. If you’re having a difficult time coping with these changes, make an effort to set realistic goals. Reaching attainable goals will make a notable difference in your own mental health and improve the outcome for your loved one. Strive to keep the person in your care well-fed, hygienic, and active, but be sure to allow some room for flexibility. Some days will be more difficult than others, and it’s important to accept that perfection isn’t always attainable.
Enjoy the Little Things
Lewy Body Dementia is a progressive disease, and will become more challenging as time passes. This is often difficult to come to terms with, but you can find comfort by seeking joy in the little things. Individuals with Lewy Body Dementia are often able to enjoy socialization and light exercise, so try to schedule some time for engaging activities. When the two of you have something to look forward to each day or each week, you may find that you both benefit from an improved mood.
LBD progresses at a different pace for each individual, and it can be difficult to anticipate the rate of change in personality and cognitive function. To stay as calm and centered as possible, do your best to embrace flexibility. What works one week may not the next, so it’s crucial to keep an open mind and be willing to find new methods of communication or routines.
Receiving a Lewy Body Dementia diagnosis can be stressful and lead to feelings of uncertainty. If you’re committed to caring for a loved one with LBD, be sure to seek help and advice when you have questions or need support. The coping techniques we share here are just a few strategies you may find helpful, but if you’d like to speak with our team, give our helpline a call. We’re available by phone seven days per week at 516-218-2026, and you can also reach us via email.