One of the scariest issues with Lewy Body Dementia (sometimes called Lewy Body Disease) is that it is difficult to diagnose, often resembling (for months or years) Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. But it’s imperative to get a correct diagnosis to receive the best treatment for this disease. According to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, “Some people with LBD are extremely sensitive or may react negatively to certain medications used to treat Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s in addition to certain over-the-counter medications.”
Additionally, Lewy Body Dementia is not something that can be “tested” for sure. A completely accurate diagnosis can only be performed after the patient dies, when, during the autopsy, the tell-tale “Lewy Bodies” can be found on the brain.
So what is this disease? It’s a form of dementia that can cause hallucinations and “spontaneous features of parkinsonism.” It can be all-encompassing in the way many people experience Alzheimer’s, or sometimes there can be times of clarity.
A great resource for how to give care to those with Lewy Body Dementia can be found on Pines Education Institute of Southwest Florida YouTube Page. In the videos, dementia expert Teepa Snow explains what the disease is, and how to solve movement problems. Check out this informative video:
” …there is relatively strong evidence that dancing can significantly improve the aerobic power, muscle endurance, strength, and flexibility of the lower body; static and dynamic balance/agility; and gait speed of older adults. “
– Keogh, J.W.L, et al., Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
Whether you think you have rhythm or not, getting up and moving your feet to your favorite song may prove to be more beneficial than you thought. Dance is a form of expression that can bring forth laughter, smiles and happiness. Dance brings people together and encourages social support while encouraging physical activity. The health benefits of dance are undeniable. According to Carol Cummings, BSN, RN, Certified Wellness Coach, there are numerous benefits of dance, including lessening the effects of some chronic diseases:
Here are some types of dance that my elicit different health benefits:
Ballroom dancing. While dancing is fun and a time to let loose, ballroom dancing takes a certain amount of concentration to remember each step and prevent you from stepping on your partners toes. This experience lessens the risk of dementia in old age by keeping the mind active and focused.
Argentine Tango. This specialized form of partner dance reaps numerous benefits. The tango is a fast paced, intricate dance that includes many sharp movements. These details have proven to show improvements in Parkinson’s disease patients by increasing mobility and balance. Read more here: Washington University in St. Louis.
Waltz. According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, those with chronic heart disease who participated in dance for exercise showed dramatic increases in functionality and quality of life. The patients were more likely to participate in physical activity because it was fun, which in turn increased their arterial capacity.