A person living with dementia (PlwD) who has a healthy, rested, happy care partner will have fewer behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) than one whose care partner is sick, overburdened, tired, or irritable.
A PlwD mirrors care partner stress as a negative emotion of their own and, without impulse control, acts it out.
Martha is tired, her back hurts and she's worried about the car that needs repairs. Dave picks up on Martha's stress, identifies it as his own residual fear that his life is disappearing, and begins to shadow her everywhere she goes.
Short term solution: Martha needs to take a few hours of respite so that her stress level will decrease. With less stress of her own, Dave will also be less stressed, he won't feel so fearful and his shadowing will decrease.
Log term solution: Martha may need to hire or ask for help so that she can get the rest she needs, see a doctor about her back, join a caregiver support group and/or talk to a financial guide about budgets. See our many blogs about caregiver care or read about it in our books.
For more information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia
Helen and James Whitworth are not doctors, lawyers or social workers. As informed caregivers, they share the information here for educational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a professional's advice.