A threshold often refers to the bottom of a doorway which is crossed to enter a house or room. Sometimes it refers to a certain point in life where there is a definite before and after. This may include things such as marriage, a career change, or facing a new medical diagnosis. Your life may be described as a “before this” or “after that” event or change.
A safety net is sometimes literal and can be a net to catch someone after a fall – or, in our case, it is seen as a safeguard or protection against something which may cause harm, panic, or hardship. If this happens, then what? What “safety net” would be in place to help the situation?
How does this relate to Lewy body dementia? Receiving an LBD diagnosis can be a certain threshold. And, within the progression of the diagnosis, other changes may occur in the needs of the person living with Lewy and their care partners. What would happen if the care partner became ill? What would happen if something like driving or lawn maintenance became too risky? What if someone needed to quickly step in to help?
Knowing what can be expected with Lewy body dementia and preparing for these “thresholds” can be a helpful part of this journey. We know that these conversations can be difficult and can feel like a moving target. Plans can derail and changing needs can require new information. However, continuing to have a general game-plan is important.
Here is where a “safety net” comes in! This can look very different depending on each person’s situation. There are multiple solutions, and our recommendation is to always to know and understand what is realistic and best for that person and their care partners. Appropriate care can be received in the home or community and in residential or facility settings. Some things are covered by insurance or other benefits – and others are not. Many factors will play a part in what options are available to families and knowing before needing can provide discussion and shared understanding for everyone involved. At the Lewy Body Dementia Association, we support the exploration of all solutions and encourage pro-active planning as often as possible.