Parkinson’s disease is still a fairly misunderstood condition, so many seniors start worrying about their mortality when they’re diagnosed with Parkinson’s. This is perfectly understandable, but the reality is that Parkinson’s itself isn’t a fatal disease. Those with the condition have the potential to live long, fulfilling lives. Here’s what you need to know about life expectancy for seniors with Parkinson’s.
Average Life Expectancy for Seniors with Parkinson’s
On average, a person with Parkinson’s disease dies at the age of 81, which is equal to national life expectancy rates. Depending on age and location, overall life expectancy is somewhere between the ages of 78 and 81. However, overall life expectancy rates are skewed a little by the fact that more young people engage in risky behavior that can cause earlier death. Those who manage to survive to the age of 65 actually have a longer life expectancy—84 to 86 years—which means seniors with Parkinson’s have a slightly shorter life span than other seniors, but they still have a fairly normal life span when compared to the general population.
Length of Time Seniors with Parkinson’s Live After a Diagnosis
Another important statistic to consider is the amount of time a senior lives after the diagnosis. On average, people with Parkinson’s die about 16 years after they’re diagnosed or begin to show symptoms. Those who are diagnosed at a very young age, such as around age 30, may live longer periods of up to 40 years with the disease. However, they may end up dying at a slightly younger age than seniors who are diagnosed at an older age. Essentially, those who don’t exhibit symptoms until past the age of 65 end up spending less time living with Parkinson’s and die at an older age overall.
Mobility limitations and other safety issues in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease can make caring for seniors increasingly challenging. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Anchorage, AK, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Reasons Seniors with Parkinson’s Pass Away
When discussing life expectancy for Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to understand that Parkinson’s isn’t directly fatal. Having low dopamine levels cannot automatically result in death. The problem is that the symptoms of Parkinson’s can cause side effects that are deadly. One of the most common causes of death in seniors with Parkinson’s is falls that can be caused by mobility issues, such as tremors or muscle weakness. In the later stages, being bedbound can increase the chance of getting blood clots or pneumonia that cause life-threatening issues.
An in-home caregiver can be a fantastic asset for a senior with Parkinson’s. When considering home care services, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
Ways to Increase Life Expectancy for Seniors with Parkinson’s
The good news is seniors can take measures to reduce the risk of death. Having the right treatment and care makes a major difference in Parkinson’s disease outcomes. Medication can slow the progression of the disease while helping seniors retain their coordination and prevent falls. In the later stages, helping seniors move around and providing them with blood-thinning medications can reduce blood clot risks.
Professional caregivers can be a wonderful source of support for seniors with Parkinson’s who need help with transportation, exercising safely, and completing daily tasks. Families looking for top-rated Anchorage home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (907) 770-0907 today.