Though approximately 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease and 60,000 more are diagnosed each year, many people still do not have a good understanding of this complex neurological disorder. If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with the condition or has been exhibiting symptoms that indicate its development, you likely have some concerns. To help ease your mind and keep you informed, the Anchorage elder care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to clear up a few of the common misconceptions about Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s Disease Is Preventable
Though researchers have attempted to prove otherwise, there is no known cause for Parkinson’s. Without a cause being identified, it is impossible to prevent this disease. Researchers believe both genetic predisposition and environmental factors come into play. Even though Parkinson’s is not preventable, you loved one can potentially reduce his or her risk by getting more vitamin D from the sun, eating berries full of antioxidants, and drinking moderate amounts of coffee.
Parkinson’s Disease Can Flare Up
Parkinson’s does not cause flare-ups because it is a progressive disease. However, symptoms can fluctuate throughout the day. Medication changes, dehydration, lack of sleep, and infections can all aggravate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Only the Elderly Get Parkinson’s Disease
While Parkinson’s is more common in elderly individuals, younger adults may still be at risk for developing it. Younger adults with Parkinson’s don’t usually experience impaired cognition or complications with balance and walking like their elderly counterparts, but they do often experience tremors.
Seniors with Parkinson’s Are Angry
If you didn’t know a person had Parkinson’s, the symptoms might make you assume he or she was grumpy. Parkinson’s can make it difficult for people to communicate because of complications with speech, drooling, and sudden movements, which can lead others to believe the person is in a bad mood.
Parkinson’s Disease Is Deadly
Parkinson’s is not considered a fatal disease. However, seniors with Parkinson’s still have unique health concerns. The disease can cause respiratory distress, which can lead to pneumonia, and it also increases your loved one’s risk for infection.
People with Parkinson’s Cannot Live Normal Lives
Seniors with Parkinson’s can still live comfortable, independent lives. Because Parkinson’s disease affects everyone differently, not all individuals experience the same progression of symptoms. Those who have a milder form of Parkinson’s are often able to continue living their lives independently by making certain lifestyle changes, and seniors at any stage of the disease can benefit from the help of an Anchorage Parkinson’s caregiver.
Though Parkinson’s can make some aspects of your loved one’s life challenging, there are ways to make it easier. A professional part-time or live-in caregiver from Home Care Assistance can provide in-home assistance to ensure your loved one continues to live safely, comfortably, and independently at home. In addition to Parkinson’s care, we also offer comprehensive stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care Anchorage seniors and their families can rely on. For more information and to request a complimentary consultation, call (907) 770-0907 today.