Life with Lewy Body Dementia

This week Aspire Options had the pleasure of sitting down with Participant Leonard and his wife Patty to discuss life and living with Lewy Body Dementia.

A few years ago, Leonard returned home from work on the farm, after pottering about the house he looked to his wife Patty and said, ‘I forgot to bring the cows up’! to which Patty replied, “well you’ve been home for two hours… it’s a bit late now!”. From this point on, Leonard and Patty knew something was not quite right leading them to seek medical consultation, following this Leonard was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia.

Lewy Body Dementia is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. Protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, develop in nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory, and movement (motor control).

Lewy Body Dementia causes a progressive decline in mental abilities. People with Lewy Body Dementia may experience visual hallucinations and changes in alertness and attention. Other effects include Parkinson’s disease-like signs and symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow movement, and tremors.

Leonard,65, is coming to terms with how much life has changed, simple tasks such as going to the local shops and communicating with staff have become more complicated for him to do on his own. Add to that Leonard says, “the fact that you cannot physically see that I have a disability” he said, “people don’t understand how much I am struggling to recall the words to communicate and get across what I want to say”.

At the beginning of 2020, Leonard commenced working with one of Aspire Options Speech Pathologist – Yolanda. Together they have been working on strategies to give Leonard the independence he desires.

“Yolanda has taken the time to help me better understand my diagnosis, she is so knowledgeable, and I feel like I am in safe hands” “she’s helped me not to feel embarrassed”.

“I quite often feel confused and overwhelmed but didn’t know how to communicate that to Patty and people in the community, because outwardly I seemed so normal”. Since working with Shevaughn (Mental Health OT), Leonard has implemented self-regulation techniques to help process emotions when he becomes frustrated or overwhelmed.

Patty – “If we didn’t have the services from Aspire Options, I don’t know where we would be!”

Leonard has always been an avid fisherman. Through the support of Aspire Options, Physiotherapist Regan established an exercise routine to help assist Leonard with his balance to enable him and Patty to enjoy camping and fishing near their hometown.

One of Leonard’s achievements is perseverance. His openness to education has led to a genuinely empowering healthcare journey with Aspire Options.

To find out more about Lewy Body Dementia visit their website here. 

Leonard Cottingham – At home in his much loved garden


With a COVID SAFE plan in place, Aspire Options is continuing to offer face-to-face therapy services (whilst applying social distancing, correct PPE, hand hygiene and appropriate cleaning).

Telehealth, Zoom and FaceTime appointments will continue to be available for safety and convenience.

The health and safety of our clients, their families and our team remain paramount. We are confident our team can provide a quality face-to-face service while adhering to our Coronavirus Policy (which continues to be modified according to the environmental factors and governmental directives and supports a safe environment for our clients and team alike).

Embrace the ‘new normal’ and together we can overcome!

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