Friday, June 26, 2015

Hydration, Part 1: Why It Is So Important

This week’s blog is about why hydration is so important, why it is a problem with our loved ones and how to recognize dehydration when it occurs. Next week will be about how to make sure your loved one stays well hydrated.

Maintaining adequate fluids rates high among those things that decrease dementia symptoms, right up there with exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep and stress management—and it is probably the easiest to do. Good hydration facilitates blood pressure and body temperature regulation, heart function, digestion, elimination, skin health—and brain function.

Conversely, poor hydration thickens the blood and impairs circulation, which makes the heart work harder. The thicker blood can’t transport enough oxygen to the brain and confusion increases. Without adequate fluids, digestion becomes sluggish, causing distention cramps and constipation. The body draws fluids from the skin for more urgent functions like those mentioned above, and the skin becomes dry and fragile.

Dehydration occurs when a person doesn’t drink enough fluids but it can also happen due to vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating or urination, fever, burns, chronic illness, diuretics, depression and exercise. Dehydration from air conditioning can cause dry eyes, itchy skin and parched lips.

Don’t expect your loved one to report thirst.

• Age and frailty causes one to eventually lose the ability to recognize thirst, even when cognition is not impaired.
• With LBD, a person can be thirsty, but know only that they feel uncomfortable. Add decreasing communication skills and reporting thirst becomes even more difficult.
• Many people take medication for high blood pressure and other heart related issues. Most of these drugs have the same effect.

These physical reasons are just the start. Your loved one may not be drinking enough for a variety of other reasons, including:

Forgetting to drink. Without a thirst reflex, this can be expected.
Not understanding or caring how important fluids are. As cognition goes, so does the ability to judge the importance of drinking.
Resisting drinking for fear of choking. This is a valid fear. Choking can lead to aspiration, pneumonia and death.
Being physically unable to wait on oneself and unwilling—or unable—to ask for help.
Not liking the taste of water.
Fears that drinking fluids will increase the need to void, and add to bathroom hassles.

Signs of even mild dehydration can include thirst, dry mouth and or tongue, dizziness, headache, weakness, fatigue, constipation, decreased urine output, confusion, concentrated yellow urine, rapid heartbeat, cramping of legs, no tears, irritable, excessive sleepiness and lethargy. For the person with LBD, another sign of dehydration is increased acting out. (Remember, acting out is the communication of some kind of discomfort.)

Since you can’t depend on your loved one to drink enough on their own to stay hydrated, this becomes the caregiver’s job. Maintaining good hydration involves being alert for the above signs of dehydration, knowing your loved one’s favorite drinks and the temperatures preferred as well and developing a drinking routine where fluids are presented regularly in an attractive fashion. Next week’s blog will include a variety of suggestions and ideas for making sure your loved one drinks enough fluids.

From the NCCDP - ICCDP Summer 2014 Newsletter and the European Hydration Institute 

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson’s & Lewy Body Dementia

Friday, June 19, 2015

What Not to Say to a Caregiver

This week’s blog is from Lisa Cooke’s Lewy Warriors blog. Next month, I’ll post her blog “How to Help a Caregiver.” Lisa is an active LBD caregiver and has good stuff to share.

We’ve all been there. That uncomfortable conversation with someone who is providing care or dealing with an illness, and we don’t know quite what to say. Do we ask about their situation and risk upsetting them, or do we ignore the elephant in the room and risk upsetting them? Either way, we’re doomed because people in tough situations get upset rather easily. They’re usually exhausted and their nerves are frayed beyond repair.

Recently, I asked the members of an on-line caregiver group for examples of things they wish people would stop saying to them and the responses I received were surprising. I had assumed I was the only one who felt the hair stand up on the back of my neck over silly things people say that shouldn’t matter to me. Boy, was I wrong.

I’ve compiled the list below and attempted to explain why these seemingly innocent comments make many caregivers cringe. You might want to send this to friends or family members who just don’t get the picture.

“You need to take care of yourself.” Oddly enough, this comment was mentioned more than any others by the caregivers. Seems strange that something a person might say in an attempt to sound supportive actually hits the proverbial nerve, until you think about the statement.

First, it’s said so often to caregivers that it borders on cliché. Caregivers know they need to take care of themselves. They read the same articles everyone else does and telling them to do it brings forth a strong urge to say, “Duh.” But the people offering that sage advice fail to offer a plan for how exactly to “Take care of yourself.” How is a caregiver supposed to do that? If their loved one is well enough to be left alone, they don’t need to take a break. If the situation is all consuming, the caregiver either has to ask someone to relieve them or hire an aid so they can take care of themselves. (From Helen: Many blogs on this site are about just to go about taking care of yourself. So important, but just saying it without offering help is understandably annoying!)

Finally, telling a person to “Take care of yourself” feels like a command. On top of everything else the caregiver has to do, now they’re supposed to squeeze in respite somewhere along the way, and if they can’t then they aren’t doing the caregiver thing correctly.

“I read on the internet about this new treatment that can reverse his illness.” or “If she would just exercise and eat right, she’d get better.” Most caregivers are very well read on their LOs illness. It’s doubtful you’ve read something we haven’t seen months or even years ago. We also know about the physiology of the brain. According to the national Parkinson’s Foundation, at the time of diagnosis, more than half of the brain cells producing dopamine are already dead. Those internet treatments will not make them come back to life. If a treatment has merit, our doctors are using it. Most caregivers are diligent in their research and attempts to find something to help their loved ones. They’ve read countless books and talked to other caregivers for tips and ideas. Telling them you’ve found a cure in your twenty minute browsing session is like saying you know more about the disease consuming their lives than they do.

“I know how you feel.” Nope. Impossible. You might have been in a similar situation or maybe knew someone with the illness, but you are not in our shoes. You don’t know about our personal relationships, financial struggles, emotional trials, or any of the other aspects of our battle. And please, whatever you do, don’t compare what we’re going through with an illness suffered by your pet.

“You look really tired.” Thanks. It’s nice to know that on top of everything else, I look like crap.

“S/he looks good to me.” Of course he does. I’m totally lying about his condition. Of course, you’re seeing him at his best because at his worst, we can’t go out in public. He’s also a master at showtiming. If you’re not familiar with that term, that’s when our loved one kicks into his or her best behavior because there’s company around. They don’t do it intentionally, it’s just a natural response to do your best around other people. Once you leave, however, he will crash. The show will wear him out and he will sleep for hours. One of the caregivers in our group says when someone tells him his wife looks good, he responds with, “You would too, if I were your caregiver.”

“Is s/he getting any better?” Nope. Our loved ones have a progressive neurological disease. Progressive diseases progress. You can quote me on that.

“I hope you’re taking him to a good doctor” or “Are you taking her to a specialist?” ::ahem:: Yes. We’re aware we need to take our loved ones to specialists. One of the caregivers in our group was asked that question by a case worker in the healthcare system. Her response was, “That’s a stupid question.” And it was.

“How long is she going to live like this?” Or “If I’m ever like that, I hope someone shoots me.” Despite all the difficulties and challenges we face with this disease, please don’t forget you’re talking about someone we love very much. Imagine if someone made those comments about you.

“Are you sure she needs to go to an assisted care facility?” Or “Can’t you just take care of him in your home? Why are you selling the house where you raised your children?” Gee. I hadn’t really given it any thought. It just sounded like fun. No caregiver wants to place their loved one in a nursing home or to give up their home. It’s every caregivers wish to keep their LO home, but the facts are that eventually there comes a time when the caregiver needs help. If they can afford hiring 24/7 aids to come to their home, then that might be an option.

But the bottom line is that unless you are willing to move in with them to help with the care, don’t judge. The decision to move our loved one to a facility, or to sell our home is one of the hardest we have to make. Hours of research, sleepless nights, and tears go into that decision. It’s not taken lightly. One member of our support group said her daughters thought she shouldn’t sell their family home and move to a one story, despite the fact their home was two stories and she couldn’t get her husband upstairs to the bathroom. They said, “Dad wanted to stay here until he died.” She replied, “But what am I supposed to do with him between then and now?”

“If I were in your shoes, I’d be really depressed.” Or “I feel so sorry for you.” Staying positive and upbeat is the hardest challenge we face. Despair and depression are always at the edge, creeping toward us like a reptile. We don’t need or want pity. Call it pride, or whatever you want, but don’t remind us that we’re pitiful. No one wants to be thought of in that manner.

“You’re a saint.” Or “You’re so brave.” Not even close. There are days we want to run away, screaming like banshees, but that’s not an option. No one chooses to have this thrust upon them and even though you might not believe it, you would do what we’re doing if you were in our situation. I don’t know who it was who said, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have,” but I’ve found that to be so true in recent years. Or as my mother always said, “You just do what you gotta do,” and Momma was right.

Thanks, Lisa. Readers, feel free to comment on your own pet peeves!

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson’s & Lewy Body Dementia

Friday, June 12, 2015

The LBD Caregiver's WALK

We recently heard a motivational speaker talk about how we should "Walk, not Run" on our journey through life. She talked about taking time to pay attention to what's going on around us, to relate to nature and to people, instead of whizzing past at 50, 60, 70 miles an hour. We are so focused on the tasks and what we need to do next, we miss what's happening right now. Then she said that WALK can be an anagram for how to live travel our life's journey:

W is for witnessing, that is, going slow enough so that we can actually see what's going on in our lives.

A for accepting what is happening on our journey. We don't have to like it, but we do need to accept it to be able to move on.

L is for loving ourselves and those around us. For traveling with a generous giving, outpouring love.

K is for knowledge that we gather along the way, knowledge that helps us learn to live happier, more fulfilled lives.

As I listened, I thought of how this pertained to the caregiver's journey.

No one will argue that a caregiver's job is easy, or that you ever have enough time to get it all done. But still, as any dementia caregiver knows, slowing down is part of the job. Yes, it works much better with your loved one, but it helps you to focus on the here and now as well. Take your time and enjoy every minute you can. Enjoy the kind word from your neighbor, the sunset, the tasty meal, and especially take time to enjoy being with your loved one.

WALK works for LBD caregivers too:

Witness. Every caregiver needs to be a witness, a careful observer, a sleuth. When your loved one cannot communicate well verbally, this becomes critically important. When you learn and read behavioral cues, watch out for environmental roadblocks, and generally be aware, your loved one wont' be so frustrated or agitated--and behaviors will decrease.

Acceptance. Every Lewy team has to learn and practice acceptance. You don't have to like it, but accepting that this is your journey makes it possible for you to find ways to make the journey smoother, and even enjoyable. Acceptance is seldom a done deal, by the way. It has to happen over and over, and the disorder changes, and other things change.

Love. Every caregiver needs to do their job with love. Our friend Joy commented, "I don't know how you'd do this for someone you didn't love. It's hard enough for me and I dearly love my husband." She is right. If the person you are caring for is someone you normally wouldn't like, that's all right. Mary is her mother-in-law, Carrie's caregiver. They've never been great friends and have very different values. But Mary still must find a way to LOVE her mil, to see the lovable person hidden there somewhere. If she can't she will feel resentful and angry and Carrie will pick that up. She will express her unhappiness with behavior--because that's what a person with dementia does--and Mary will feel even worse. If Mary can't find a way to love Carrie, maybe she should not be her caregiver.

Knowledge. Especially with LBD, learning everything you can about this baffling disorder makes your journey safer, and easier too. You are the buffer between medical staff who may not know about LBD's drug sensitivities. You are your loved one's advocate. You know how to provide comfort more easily. But you can't do these jobs well if you don't understand the disorder and your loved one's unique responses to it. Read, search the internet, go to support groups, learn and yes, share. Sharing is another way of learning!

And so take the time and the effort to WALK through this LBD journey. Take the time to be observant, be willing to accept, and serve with love and knowledge.

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:

Friday, June 5, 2015

Hospitals: What Nurses Wish We Knew

We've done several blogs about visiting the ER and the hospital with our loved ones. We've talked about what we want the staff to know and do and how to best make that happen. But what about the other side? What do nurses wish family caregivers knew? Well, the people at Aging Care did a good job of compiling a list. You can read the whole article by clicking here, but this week's blog is an abbreviated list with a few of my own comments:

1. Aging adults are not children. This is especially true for those with dementia, which can cause them to act out in childish ways. But your loved one has had a full life and deserves respect. Be patient, make sure they are safe—but allow them as much independence as possible.

2. Look out for depression, which is especially common among the elderly. Do not to view this mental ailment as a "normal" side effect of aging, but as a disorder that can and should be treated. Depression can be a LBD symptom, but the treatment is the same. Click here for a list of depression symptoms to be alert for.

3. Recognize what your loved one has lost. The list probably includes family, friends or a beloved home the most profound is the loss of independence. This loss can be so upsetting, that it may cause your loved one to lash out and refuse your help. It is important for caregivers to resist viewing these as personal attacks.

4. It's important to keep moving. Your loved one may be resistant to physical activity due to stiff joints, sore muscles, or other mobility issues, but it's vital that they get their blood pumping in some way on a consistent basis. Regular physical activity is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stave off a host of undesirable ailments, including: osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. Research has also linked exercise with better brain health and a reduction in risk for developing depression.

5. Assume that your loved one can hear/understand you. With LBD, comprehension lasts much longer than the ability to speak clearly and hearing is one of the last things to go. We never know what our loved ones do and do not understand, so it's better to just assume that they hear and understand.

6. Everyone needs a break—even you. Caregivers hear it all the time, but it bears repeating: You'll be a better caregiver if you take a break. It's important for even close family caregivers take time to "disconnect" from their loved one. Caregiving needs to be a team effort in order to avoid burnout, but finding respite resources can be a challenge. Click here for some tips on how to find respite care.

These suggestions are for caregivers of the elderly in general but they are all very apt for anyone caring for a loved one with Lewy body dementia. These are all issues we've discussed in the past, but it doesn't hurt to bring them up again...and again. Thank you, nurses, and the Aging Care website.

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson’s & Lewy Body Dementia

Helen and James Whitworth are not doctors. As informed caregivers, they share the information here for educational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a physician's advice.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Hospital Visits: Educating the Staff

Jim's recent experiences with hospital and ER visits spurred me to blog about what to expect. This week, the blog is about being an educator, something about which the average LBD caregiver is usually well aware.
Expect to be an educator about your loved one's disorder. Do not assume that ER or even hospital personnel knows about LBD or about its issues with drug sensitivities. This is especially critical when your loved one is there with something unrelated to LBD.

• Bring short, easy to read articles about LBD that discuss its most common symptoms, such as drug sensitivities, fluctuating cognition, early hallucinations, and active dreams and how it differs from Alzheimer's. The LBDA website offers many such articles.

• Bring a LBDA Medical Alert Wallet Card and ask that a copy of it be added to your loved one's chart. Click here to order or download one.

• Bring a list of how LBD affects your loved one, including specific symptoms, most common irritants and the way she responds to them--acting-out, withdrawal, etc. Ask that this also be included in her chart.

Expect to be a full partner in your loved one's care.

• List any drug your loved one has reacted poorly to as an allergy. This should prevent them from being used.

• Provide a list of drugs that have been shown to be risky for people with your loved one's disorder. (i.e., any anticholinergic drugs for LBDers. You can find lists here.)

• Insist that no drugs be given to your loved one without you being informed first. With a power of attorney from your loved one, you have a right to refuse drugs you believe to be harmful. (Even without one, it is worth a try if you are a spouse--but get the POA! and be prepared.)

• Ask to see the chart if you are concerned. Some nurses are very helpful about letting you view these.

• Ask to see any test reports. Ask that they be printed out so you can have a copy, or that they be emailed to you. If you get them while you are there, they may be free but if you ask for them later, you will likely have to pay a fee.

• Be assertive and persistent, but always respectful. Assume the staff is doing their best to care for your loved one--but don't accept brushoffs.

Expect the staff to be busy but interested. Most staff are interested in anything that will advance their pool of knowledge.

• The more interesting you can make your "spiel" the easier it will be to get people to pay attention. Share your passion with them!

• Be friendly and willing to talk but not pushy. (The honey vs. vinegar thing.)

• Don't be a know-it-all, but do show that you have done your homework and know what you are talking about.

• Have your literature available so you can use it to support what you say...and to hand out for staff to read when they have more time.

Expect that the staff has to--and should--abide by hospital rules and doctor's orders. What you teach may not change the way they do things now. This has to come from higher up. But the more you educate, the higher up it will go! But what you can do is make sure your loved one gets the best, most well informed care possible. And that is your immediate goal anyway.

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson’s & Lewy Body Dementia

Helen and James Whitworth are not doctors. As informed caregivers, they share the information here for educational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a physician's advice.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dementia: Legal & Financial Considerations

This week our guest blog writer is David Watt, of Laker Legal Solicitors. (Italicized inserts are mine.)

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with dementia it can feel like a frightening situation. The challenges ahead can seem daunting but you're not alone. There is a lot of help out there for you to get the support you need. There are a number of government programs that can assist you in caring for someone with dementia or if you have been diagnosed yourself.

There are a number of legal considerations to take into account with dementia. It is important to plan ahead as soon as possible in order to best adhere to your loved one's wishes. Talking with them about what they want is vital for finding out their wishes for future situations such as designating a person to make decisions on their behalf when they are unable to do so. Doing this early can help prevent difficult behavior in later stages. You will also need to discuss the long-term care wishes and planning for finances and property.(Even when a person can no longer remember having this discussion, their subconscious will, and they will be less resistant to whatever they agreed to earlier.) 

The ability to make rational decisions and understand one's action is referred to as "legal capacity." If a person suffering from dementia has the ability to understand important legal documents then they have legal capacity. Different documents have different requirements for legal capacity. A lawyer will be able to help you determine if your loved one has the legal capacity to sign a document. A doctor can also assist in determining a person’s mental ability.

If there are existing legal documents that were signed before your loved one was diagnosed with dementia they may not remember signing them. It is a good idea to review them with another person to make sure that they are up to date.

When meeting with lawyer, it is helpful to get an attorney that specializes in elder care. Some key points you will want to discuss with your lawyer are: Decision making for the person with dementia, managing the person’s assets and finances, managing a person’s personal care, and long-term care services.

You will need to bring a number of documents to the lawyer to help them give you the most relevant advice. This includes:

• Copies of deeds to real estate
• Tax returns
• Health insurance or benefits booklets
• admission agreements to healthcare facilities
• A detailed list of assets
• Wills, trusts, powers of attorney
• A list of the names and addresses of people involved, family and caregivers.

People 65 or older are usually entitled to Medicare, especially if they are receiving Social Security retirement benefits. If you have a young onset diagnosis of dementia and have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months you are also entitled to Medicare. It provides monetary support with inpatient hospital care, outpatient prescription drugs, some medical items and some doctor's fees. This program also provides you with some home care under certain conditions. This includes rehabilitation therapy and skilled nursing care. It's worth checking up regularly what your Medicare can give you as there may be changes that affect you. In addition to Medicare there is Medigap insurance which supplements Medicare coverage and, as the name suggests, fills in the gaps that Medicare does not cover including paying for coinsurance.

(Medicare plans vary greatly by state. Many insurance companies offer plans based on the Medicare required basics but what they add can be bewilderingly different and so can their cost. What they offer also changes yearly. No Medicare plans cover long term care. Medigap plans can be expensive. Consider consulting a Senior Adviser, or a person specializing in these plans before choosing.)

To qualify for SSDI, Social Security Disability Insurance, a person must meet the criteria for disability out lined by the Social Security Administration. This often means that they need to prove that the person with dementia cannot work, they will remain in the condition for more than a year or that it is ultimately expected to result in death. For those younger than 65 to qualify they will need to meet other criteria. Usually they are fast-tracked to a favourable decision so that the person can start receiving benefits in a shorter amount of time.

(Expect your application to be denied the first time you apply. Using legal guidance so that you get the wording just right will lower the chances of this but still, most people who apply for SSDI must apply more than once before they are accepted.)

Bottom line: Speak to a solicitor or lawyer to ensure that the person living with dementia is given all the assistance they need.

(Yes!!! And I add, so that the you, the caregiver, get all of the legal power you need to care for your loved one.)

Living With Dementia, the Practical, Legal & Financial Considerations. A worthwhile article with  more good information. Laker Legal is based in the UK, but most of their information is applicable in the US as well. (Do check this out!

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson’s & Lewy Body Dementia

Friday, May 15, 2015

ER and Hospital Expectations: Loved One

"There is simply not enough staffing in a hospital to calm, help and comfort a LBD patient. And sometimes they don't know what LBD is or the devastating, stressful effects." Comment by Arlene on 5/5/15. This weeks blog is in response to her very apt statements. How can we, as caregivers, help emergency room and general hospital staff calm, help and comfort our loved ones? Here are some ideas to get you started. Feel free to add comments with your own suggestions or concerns.

Expect it to be cold. Hospitals, especially ERs are cold places.

• Make sure your loved one is dressed warmly and ask for warm blankets if he's still cold.

Expect your loved one to be uncomfortable. Waiting will be more uncomfortable, and possibly painful, than boring for your loved one.
• Bring a pillow (or ask for one) and help him to readjust for more comfort.

• Bring some coconut oil laced with one of the soothing essential oils and give your loved one a hand massage. If the oils aren't allowed, used hospital-provided lotion. It won't be as soothing, but it will still be helpful.

• Use touch, lots of gentle touch. Holding his hand, smoothing his blanket over his shoulders, kissing his forehead all tend to be comforting.

• If your loved one is comfortable enough, he will likely zone out. DO NOT relieve your boredom (and your worry) by fussing over her.

Expect your loved one to be impatient. People who are sick don't do patience well. Add any cognitive involvement, as with LBD or Parkinson's with dementia, and it is even more difficult.

• Bring snacks, or buy them in the hospital (depending on your loved one's diet or hospital orders).
• Use music. Bring an ipod, or mp3 player with calming music.

• Use distractions, depending on your loved one's abilities and interests. A book, a cell phone game, a deck of cards, or even a favorite stuffed toy. I bring Jim's laptop so that when he is feeling up to it, he can play card games and check his email.

• Ask about internet connections. Hospitals usually have free patient wifi. This can be both helpful and entertaining for both of you.

Expect your loved one to be dependent. You are their stability, their connection with a time when they felt healthy. Even so, you still need to take occasional respite periods...going to the cafeteria, etc. Do not give these up!

• Choose times when your loved one is either asleep or otherwise involved (as with trips to x-ray, etc.) for your times away from his side.

• Set a return time--and keep to it if you possibly can.

• Stay connected by cell phones. Just knowing he can call while you are gone will decrease his agitation.

Expect the staff to really care. People don't usually enter the health care profession to make money. They do it because they like helping people. However, hospitals aren't staffed to offer the individual care you provide at home.

• Always treat the staff with respect. They may not know a lot about LBD specifically, but they are still professionals, doing their job to the best of their ability. (More about educating staff in a future blog.)

• Look for things to compliment. Your recognition of staff's hard work, or their caring attentions goes a long way. You know, honey instead of vinegar.

Expect to ask questions. There are usually things you can do for your loved one instead of waiting until a staff person gets around to it, but this varies with the hospital.

• Ask where the hot blankets are. Sometimes they will let you help yourself to these. You can keep your loved one warmer and save the staff many steps.

• If admitted, ask where the nourishments are kept. They will usually allow you to get items for yourself or your loved one from this area. Coffee, tea, ice cream, crackers and the like are usually available.

• Ask how to how to roll the bed up and down, and how to take the brakes off and move it. (The staff may frown on the latter, however.)

Expect to be an advocate. In times of illness and stress, the ability to think and communicate plummets.

• View behaviors as communication: irritation, restlessness, or frowning may be signs of discomfort or pain.

• Try to identify the problem and fix it. This may mean doing something yourself like asking for another blanket or passing information about something like pain on to the staff.

Expect your loved one to still feel "rocky" when you get home. An ER and possibly hospital experience is usually very stress-related. This decreases everyone's ability to function--including the caregivers. Give yourselves some slack! You are both doing the best you can. And don't forget the first caregiver requirement: patience! It is also the last one. Now if I can just remember all of my own good advice....

Soon: Hospital Visits: Being an Educator. That was supposed to be in this blog but it just got too long! However, next week we may have a guest blog on the financial aspects of caregiving.

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia

Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson’s & Lewy Body Dementia

Helen and James Whitworth are not doctors. As informed caregivers, they share the information here for educational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a physician's advice.