Do birds problem-solve? Apparently not very well. For 3 days a female robin has been trying to fly into my family room window through a window pane. Maybe I should say “pain”. With the shade down, she stops; but then the room is darker. Notice streaks from many times hitting glass. Then she sits on the ledge and wistfully looks in.
So today I tried to think like a bird. Is there something inside that she thought she had to have: statue with netting, bright carnival glass that looked like a flower, or maybe a bowl of fake flowers. When I removed all the suspected culprits, she continued to try to fly in. She was so determined that she tried to fly past a mask of a gargoyle face that I hung by the hit she always hit.
! Whatever it is, she is delusional. And she keeps persisting in spite of logic. She is so like my husband who often thought he saw things as one thing when they were indeed something else. If she persists, it will kill her. I think this shows how frustrating it can be when the messages seen are not real. I have to wonder if birds can get Lewy Body Dementia...? Delusions are one of the classic symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia. Dean would have little delusions such as thinking the pattern in the carpet was 3-D and consequently high stepping over a flower pattern. I have worked with one family where the delusions were extremely difficult to deal with. Every time the wife went into the
bathroom and closed the door, the husband accused her of meeting another man in there. No logic could convince him that she was alone in the bathroom.
! For some people with LBD, delusions might be infrequent and a slight increase in medication will clear them away. For others, it may be the drugs that are escalating the visions. Only when the medications are reevaluated and some removed, do the families get relief.
! This is definitely a symptom to report to the doctors. It may take a trial and error approach until just the right drug and right dosage are found to give any relief.
! Unfortunately delusions may increase as the person moves into later stages of LBD. It is important for caregivers to understand that a person does not see aberrant visions on purpose. The delusions are very real to the person. Each family will need to develop a strategy for dealing with delusions. Dean was able to get to a point where he wold say, I think my mind is playing tricks on me again.
I frequently speak to various caregiver groups, and would love to see as many people as possible. Come share your stories with me and the rest of the group.
I just started reading your book yesterday... -- Nancy Kloepfer