Jun 27, 2012

Confusing aspect of DLB

"One feature that distinguishes DLB (Dementia with Lewy Bodies) from other forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, is clear fluctuations in an individual's attention and alertness.  At times, a person who has DLB may be able to handle daily activities without much trouble and then suddenly may become confused for a few minutes, a few hours or for several days." Mayo Clinic literature

That is one of the most confusing aspects of Lewy Bodies Dementia, and I would suggest that it may contribute to the difficulty the person with dementia has with being aware of her or his own functioning ability.  It varies considerably, drastically even.  So, a person with DLB may appear to people who do not see him or her often that the person is lucid and capable, and they may be in that moment.  It is confusing even to me, a person who has spent 24 hours a day for most of the last five years with someone with DLB.  One minute he may give a brilliant suggestion, such as to run the fan of the furnace on the cool cycle to help keep the house cool, and the next minute he does not remember if he was told he had DLB.  Very confusing.  And, this is an additional characteristic of DLB, in addition to the dementia:  which manifests itself in DLB as lacking judgment, inability to solve problems, inability to express his or her thoughts or to understand what others are saying and delusions.  As caregivers, let us be gentle with ourselves when we are confused about the functioning level of the person who receives our care, and let us consider that even the care receiver may be legitimately confused about his or her own functioning.  Because it is better in some moments than others. 

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