Feelings of isolation, depression, fatigue, and anxiety are wearing down family caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even without the stress of the pandemic, the burden is very high and the support needs are unique for those caring for loved ones with Lewy body dementia, the second most common form of progressive dementia.
Like Robin Williams’ wife experienced before he died, caregiving for a loved one with Lewy body dementia is isolating, challenging work.
With anxiety, depression, and suicidality for caregivers at an all-time high, those caring for people with LBD need to know virtual support is available to them through the Lewy Body Dementia Association.
The LBDA Lewy Line connects callers with experienced LBD caregivers. These “Lewy Buddies” offer emotional support by listening compassionately and confidentially to the challenges of LBD caregivers and their families and sharing their own personal experiences with LBD.
Lewy Buddies also refer families to additional LBDA programs, services, and virtual support groups.
LBDA also hosts events, including podcasts, webinars, and virtual symposiums on various LBD-related topics.
LBD is the most misdiagnosed form of dementia affecting more than 1.4 million families nationwide.
According to Angela Taylor, senior director of research and advocacy at LBDA, “One of the reasons for the lack of awareness is because LBD has mixed elements of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, so it is frequently misdiagnosed.”
The symptoms of Lewy body dementia include dementia, cognitive fluctuations, behavioral changes, hallucinations, delusions, changes in mood, sleep disorders, and autonomic disruptions.
While there is currently no cure, recognizing symptoms early can help ensure quicker, appropriate treatment and caregiver support.
To learn more, visit the LBDA website at www.lbda.org or call the Lewy Line at (800) 539-9767.