Since LBD is a multi-system disease the management of the disease will require a comprehensive treatment approach. This means that physicians and professionals from different specialties (e.g. neurologist, primary care, pharmacist, physical/occupational therapy, social worker) work as a team to collaborate to provide optimum treatment of each symptom without worsening other LBD symptoms. This can be accomplished in the home, through a home health agency, an adult day program, a rehabilitation center or in a long-term care environment.
Beneficial Therapeutic Options
Physical therapy can help with movement problems through cardiovascular, strengthening, and flexibility exercises as well as gait training and general physical fitness programs.
Speech therapy may help with low voice volume, voice projection, poor speaking ability, and swallowing issues.
Occupational therapy can help promote independence and identify problems with everyday activities, such as eating and bathing.
Music and art therapy may provide meaningful activities that can reduce anxiety and improve well-being.
Mental health counselors can help persons with LBD, their families, and caregivers learn how to manage difficult emotions and behaviors and plan for the future.
Reducing the Risk
Researchers have found that some forms of dementia may be the result of factors that we control: our diet, activity level, the amount of sleep we get, how we manage stress, and other life situations. Other factors we control are: smoking (any kind); too much alcohol (more than three drinks a day); excessive use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs; and engaging in risky and/or unhealthy behaviors (e.g. contact sports, auto racing, junk food, drugs). Just as you can help reduce your chances of having heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, or even cancer by simple lifestyle changes, here are five areas of life where lifestyle changes may decrease your chances of developing a form of dementia.
The body needs sleep. Without sleep, your body cannot repair the damage from the day's activities. Too little sleep will result in mood changes, poor judgment, and potentially dangerous situations (e.g. operating machinery, driving). Anyone over the age of 40 should have at least seven hours of sleep. This will ensure that you think clearly and calmly, and will allow you to do your best. Routine is the key to sleep.
We are all aware of the dangers of too much sugar, too much salt, high-fat foods, processed foods, etc. Scientists have found that too much sugar in the brain can actually speed up the aging process. To get healthy and stay healthy, a person must eat healthy for life. An easy way to remember is to "eat the rainbow," that is, every day eat something red, something green, something orange, something yellow, and so on. The more colors and more variety you have, the better your health will be. Leafy greens, beans and legumes, all kinds of berries, and seeds can help round out a healthy diet and nourish your brain.
Exercise and Activity
On a continual basis, we are bombarded with TV and newspaper reports about the "obesity epidemic" in this country. Just like with coronary diseases and other medical conditions, too much weight causes your body to work harder to deliver blood and nutrients to your brain. It is essential that exercise be a part of your daily routine. One of the most effective forms of exercise known involves only 20-30 minutes of your daily time: walking. It is just as important to exercise your brain. "Use it or lose it" is more than just a phrase. Play some brain games today!
How do you relax? This is a hard question for many folks. It seems like the tasks never end and the constant juggling to take care of it all can eventually break even the strongest person. Can you get a massage once a month? Do you hear the casino calling your lucky numbers? Love to go shopping? Can you take a few days to travel to visit family? Find a way to relax that works for you and make time for it.
For your mental, emotional, and psychological health, the more outside contacts you have, the better your overall health. Socializing helps prevent depression and keeps you mentally stimulated. Fraternal and social clubs (e.g. Veterans organizations, alumni groups, bowling leagues, church activities) are important ways for us to remain connected. Going out with a friend or having a girls' night is another way to allow yourself to enjoy life, interact with friends, and take a much needed break.
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