Doctors have included physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy in treatment plans for dementia patients for many years. They will usually be the ones to refer you to these services. Psychological counseling is not so closely connected, but can also be valuable.
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Psychological counseling
LSBTR BIG Program, from Parkinson Power
Physical therapy helps people with dementia manage pain, prevent falls, and improve balance, muscle strength and mobility. It is especially useful with Parkinson's and Parkinsonian symptoms where mobility is an issue. The therapist may offer suggestions for improving the person's environment to make mobility easier.
Occupational Therapy in Home Modification, from The American Occupational Therapy Association.
Occupational therapy helps people with dementia by identifying and helping them to maintain their strengths, while helping people to adapt and compensate for lost skills. The goal is for the person to do as much self-care and be as independent as possible.
LSVTR LOUD Treatment Benefits Parkinson's Disease Patient --From Hendricks Regional Health
Speech therapy helps people with dementia by identifying communication issues and teaching other ways of communicating. With Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia people, soft speech can be an issue. Programs like the LSVT LOUDR program, where people are taught to exaggerate their speech, can make a difference. Speech therapists also teach people how to deal with difficult swallowing.
"John said that our psychologist...contributed in some ways as much to his feeling of well-being as has his neurologist and the medicines he prescribes." Pat Snyder in her book, Treasures in the Darkness. Pat also gave several examples of how counseling helped her and other members of her family.
The many changes that dementia causes can be traumatic for all concerned. A good counselor can help individuals, couples and families work out these stressful issues. Choose one who is used to working with grief, for there is a lot of loss involved in living with dementia.
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