Palliative Care for Lewy Body Dementia Patients: is it for you?
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If you are the caregiver of someone who has Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), you may be wondering what palliative care is and how it can help your loved one. Palliative care for Lewy Body Dementia is a type of care that focuses on relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life. It can be used at any stage of an illness but is generally used for LBD patients in mid to advanced stages.
It can be provided alongside other treatments. Palliative care can help to reduce fatigue, confusion, and agitation in people with Lewy Body Dementia, and it can also improve communication and quality of life for both patients and caregivers.
How Palliative Care for Lewy Body Dementia can Help to Improve Quality of Life
Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a progressive and degenerative disease that affects the brain. Symptoms can include hallucinations, delusions, memory loss, and mobility issues. The disease can be extremely difficult to cope with, both for the person suffering from LBD and their loved ones.
Palliative care is a type of medical care that focuses on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life. It can be used alongside other forms of treatment, such as medication or therapy. Palliative care team members work closely with the person with LBD, as well as their family and caregivers, to develop a care plan that meets their individual needs. The goal of palliative care is to help the person with LBD live as well as possible for as long as possible.
Studies have shown that palliative care can help to improve symptoms and quality of life for people with LBD. In one study, participants who received palliative care reported improvements in sleep, anxiety, and depression symptoms. They also had a better quality of life and were less likely to be hospitalized than those who did not receive palliative care.
What services are provided as part of palliative care for Lewy Body Dementia?
Although there is no cure for LBD, treatments are available to help manage the symptoms. Palliative care is one such treatment, and it focuses on providing relief from the symptoms of the disease without trying to cure the underlying condition. Contrary to what many think, palliative care can involve medication to manage Lewy Body Dementia.
Services given in palliative care include:
- Physical therapy to help with mobility
- Counseling to address anxiety and depression
- Support for caregivers
- Provide a dialogue between the providers, patient, and family members to discuss interventions like feeding tubes
- Discussing advanced healthcare directives and living wills
How caregivers can benefit from palliative care for LBD
Caregivers can benefit from palliative care for Lewy Body Dementia in many ways. It can help to reduce the stress and anxiety that caregivers often experience. Palliative care can help caregivers to better understand the disease and how to best care for their loved one. The added help from palliative care can provide relief and some respite.
Who initiates or prescribes palliative care for Lewy Body Dementia?
As Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a progressive and fatal neurological disorder, individuals with LBD and their family members typically initiate a conversation about palliative care with their healthcare team when they realize that the disease is progressing and/or management treatments are no longer viable or desirable options.
Healthcare professionals who are familiar with LBD, such as movement disorder specialists, geriatric psychiatrists, and neurologists, often prescribe or recommend palliative care for patients with LBD and their caregivers.
Who is included in the palliative care team?
Palliative care teams may include doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, dietitians, and other specialists. They work together with the patient’s regular healthcare team to provide coordinated and comprehensive care.
Where does palliative care take place?
Palliative care can be provided in a variety of settings, including the home, hospital, assisted living, and nursing home. The type of setting will depend on the needs of the patient and the availability of resources.
For example, patients who are receiving palliative care for an end-of-life situation may benefit from being in a hospice setting, where they can receive around-the-clock care and have access to pain management and other resources. On the other hand, patients who are receiving palliative care may be able to receive care at home, with periodic visits from a nurse or other health care provider.
Resources available to help support those living with or caring for someone with LBD.
While there is no cure for LBD, there are several resources available to help support those affected by the disease. The Lewy Body Dementia Association offers a number of educational resources, support groups, and financial assistance programs. Additionally, many local Alzheimer’s Associations offer programs and services specifically for families affected by Lewy body dementia. With the right support, people living with LBD can continue to lead meaningful lives.
In conclusion. Palliative care is an important part of managing Lewy Body Dementia and can help to improve the quality of life for both the person with LBD and their caregivers. If you are caring for someone with LBD, palliative care services can help you manage the symptoms and provide support.
Have you used palliative care for your loved one? How did they help you?