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Keywords

aging, Alzheimer Disease, caregivers, dementia, geriatric, Lewy bodies, neuroscience, Parkinson Disease, support

 

Authors

  1. Davis-Fantauzzi, Ashley

Abstract

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Age and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are highly associated. As the elderly population in the United States increases, so will the incidence of DLB. Nurses increasingly can expect to care for this population. This article will examine and explain the current literature describing the state of DLB as well as best practices for nursing care of physical, psychosocial, and educational needs of DLB patients, families, and caregivers. METHODS: CINAHL Complete and Google Scholar were used to search for relevant literature within the last 6 years. The following keywords were used alone or in combination: "Lewy," "Lewy body," "dementia," "aging," "caregiver," "support," and "nursing." RESULTS: Eighty articles were reviewed and 26 were chosen, along with 1 government website, for this review article. Dementia with Lewy bodies is defined, and the presentation is described. Behavioral and psychological, motor, autonomic, and cognitive symptoms most common and those considered to be hallmarks are explained. Diagnosis and both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments, along with nursing implications and interventions, are provided. CONCLUSION: Early recognition of signs and symptoms of DLB helps to provide timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The importance of knowledge acquisition for nurses to better care for DLB patients and their families is addressed throughout the article.