Parkinson’s disease is one of the neurodegenerative disorders which affect a majority of Americans, more precisely around one million. It affects the afflicted person’s speech, coordination, memory, and motor skills, and is a disease which does not discriminate, which is to say that even many famous people have been known to have it.
As per the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 60,000 individuals in the nation are diagnosed with the disease every year, and most of them are diagnosed when they are past their sixties. Since this is a progressive neurological disorder, the symptoms get worse over time. Although each individual’s battle with it progresses in different ways, the most common physical changes and symptoms include the following.
- Just about 80% of people with Parkinson’s disease experience involuntary movements technically termed as “tremors”. This movement can occur in the feet, hands, jaw, chin, or head.
- As the muscles stiffen, the motor skills of the Parkinson’s sufferer are compromised. This could just lead to slower movement as well as a shuffling walk.
- People often develop mobility and balance issues as the problem regresses.
- Between 50% and 80% of people with Parkinson’s disease will develop Parkinson’s disease dementia.
- Depression and anxiety too are common among those with PD.
Can It Be Treated?
Although there is no cure for this disease, people can take steps in order to manage their current symptoms and potentially delay others.
- Physical Activity: Tai chi, swimming, and walking are all low-impact exercises which help one stay fit. Activity is thought to play an important role in delaying Parkinsons’ progression.
- Healthy diet: As with most health conditions, a healthy daily diet is also important to managing Parkinson’s disease. For more advice on this, it is best that you talk to a qualified physician.
- Stretching: Because the disease causes muscle rigidity, it is important to make flexibility-focused exercises and stretching a priority right from the time of diagnosis. Pilates, yoga, and overall stretching might help the muscles move fine for a longer while.
- Strength training: Light weights and resistant bands can aid in maintaining balance and stamina.
- Home Safety Audit: Have a safety audit done by hiring an occupational or physical therapist, who can find potential fall risks and make suggestions for improving risk management.
- Prescription medication: Although they will not surely cure Parkinson’s disease, there have been considerable advances in developing drugs to treat and manage its symptoms in the recent past. Look into the available options and see which ones hold promise.
If your senior has Parkinson’s disease, then the supportive and positive environment in a Long Beach assisted living community may help them live their remaining days in a meaningful way.