The Whitworths of Arizona, bringing science to you in everyday language.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Care facilities just don't get (understand) it"--but they can.

“They just don’t get it.” That’s what Dr. Sababagh told us about care facilities and LBD. Dr. Sabbagh was one of the speakers at the 2011 Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium Conference. He is also a local expert on LBD.

“Do you mean that because the staff in these facilities don’t understand LBD, their LBD patients act out more and have more hallucinations and other LBD related problems?”

“Yes, they just don’t get it,” he repeated.

And so often, they don’t. They don’t “get” (understand) our loved ones’ sensitivity to medications and why they act out so much more when given the same medications that their other patients do fine with. They don’t get our loved ones sensitivity to stimulation—to anything that is “too much” – too much noise or sunlight or excitement. Expecting the gradual decline of an Alzheimer’s patient, they don’t get our loved one’s ups and downs and often believe they are faking, or lazy, or obstinate. They don’t get “showtime” and believe that it demonstrates what our loved ones could be like all the time if they only wanted to be.

But there’s hope. In many cases our loved ones respond better to the care of well-trained staff than they do to medication. (And isn’t that wonderful, considering all the problems they have with medication!) The Beatitudes, of Phoenix, AZ, report that their regimen of caring behavior management eliminates the need for most medications. Caregivers nationwide have told us about loved ones who had become unmanageable in a facility clueless about LBD are now doing well in a “Lewy-savvy” facility.

Any care facility can easily become Lewy-savvy. If your loved one is in a facility, do suggest our LBD Training Kit. Even if the staff appears to be well trained, new staff will need training. Our kit is designed to give facilities the tools they need to do their own LBD training—no need to find an outside expert. And if you are already familiar with our book, A Caregiver’s Guide to Lewy Body Dementia, you know the content will be trustworthy and supportive of your loved ones. Send them to our website:

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