Caring for an aged patient is stressful. It can also be isolating especially if they are diagnosed with a mobility and cognitive impairing disease like Lewy Body Dementia. LBD has just recently been recognized as a disease in its own. It’s either diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or Vascular Dementia. Aged Dementia care can be challenging these days since it still has no cure, although there have been significant findings of treatments in studies. If you have an LDB loved one who needs personal care, here are some tips worth knowing:
Don’t face this by yourself
The biggest mistake that the families of an LBD patient can make is owning the responsibilities alone out of guilt. Getting help is not immoral. You have other priorities too aside from your diagnosed loved one that you need to attend. Whoever judges you in doing so doesn’t know any better.
Recognizing that other people are specializing on LBD is the first step to a well-progressing treatment. If your loved one needs Aged Dementia care, you can apply for their eligibility assessment through Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS). 108 ACAS centers are currently operating around Australia.
If you’re planning on turning over a loved one to a nursing home, there might be a time when you will hesitate and experience setbacks. Personal Dementia care requires a tremendous amount of patience because their behavior will change from time to time. If you get angry, remember that your loved one is sick and they need help.
Treat LBD symptoms with medication
Even though there’s still no cure for LBD yet, there are four sets of symptoms of an LBD that can be treated with medication:
- Cognitive – Alzheimer medication Cholinesterase inhibitors can be used to treat cognitive-related symptoms such as trouble with memory, attention, recognition, etc.
- Visual Hallucinations – Antipsychotic medication can be used to prevent hallucinations but Cholinesterase inhibitors are also suggested over antipsychotic meds because the latter can cause neuroleptic sensitivity.
- Mobility – Parkinson’s medication Levodopa can be used to treat an LBD patient if he’s having difficulty in moving. Don’t treat them with this if they can still manage to prevent side effects.
- REM Sleeping Behavior Disorders – RBD is treated using Clonazepam.
Learn about Non-medication treatments
If your patient passed the eligibility test, opt for nursing home care facilities that introduce these types of treatments for aged Dementia care patients:
- Physical therapy – An aged care provider’s dementia care services should include performing simple, passive flexibility exercises to patients
- Speech therapy – This is for LBD patients who have already poor pronunciation of words
- Psychotherapy – For managing the emotional well-being of an LBD patient
- Occupational Therapy – It’s possible to teach LBD patients independence in simple tasks such as eating on their own or fixing their beds
Be with a community to prepare for the end
Families can lean on support groups who have similar situations with them. For example, in Arcare Aged Care, they have services called Sensitive Care that put special attention to LBD patients. Most of them usually wander around and are often isolated. They also offer in-house relative meetings and social groups. Free counseling is also available in organisations such as Carer’s Australia and Alzheimer’s Australia.