When people first hear about a Parkinson’s diagnosis, their thoughts often go to the worst-case scenario. However, it’s important to keep a positive perspective about your senior loved one’s diagnosis. While you can expect your loved one to develop some symptoms such as tremors, there are many things that can be done to give him or her an excellent prognosis for a long and happy life.
How Parkinson’s Progresses
Parkinson’s disease does tend to get worse over time. At first, most people just have mild symptoms, but these later progress to the point where a person may become debilitated. One of the reasons you sometimes hear about someone having a short life after a Parkinson’s diagnosis is because the diagnosis didn’t occur until the later stages of the disease. Diagnosing Parkinson’s early allows your loved one to take advantage of things such as medication that can help him or her have a normal life span.
Factors that Affect Longevity
There are several factors that influence how long a person can live after this diagnosis. For instance, a person who is already in a relatively good state of health typically responds better to things such as medication. Your loved one’s motivation to enhance his or her health also plays a role in how well he or she does with the disease. Try to surround your loved one with positive people who encourage him or her to stay as healthy as possible. Ideally, these same people should promote independence and provide only the assistance your loved one needs to stay strong.
In-home caregivers can be a fantastic asset for seniors who want to adopt healthier lifestyles. When considering in-home care, 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.
Risks Associated with a Parkinson’s Diagnosis
Parkinson’s disease isn’t fatal itself, but it does lead to conditions that can be fatal. For instance, a senior who has significant tremors or freezing may have a serious fall that leads to a traumatic brain injury. Seniors with Parkinson’s disease also have a greater risk of choking on their food or developing pneumonia due to the ways their symptoms affect their muscles and organs. Understanding the risks associated with your loved one’s symptoms helps you add strategies to the care plan that increase his or her chances of enjoying a longer life.
Difficulty swallowing 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 24-hour care. Toronto, ON, 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.
How to Prolong Your Loved One’s Life
Now that you have a diagnosis for your loved one’s symptoms, you can begin creating an action plan. Your loved one should make sure to take medication as needed and attend all doctor appointments. If necessary, provide transportation to these appointments. Depending on the symptoms, transportation assistance can also prolong your loved one’s life by preventing him or her from having an accident. Your loved one should also continue to exercise (with his or her doctor’s approval), and he or she may need help around the house to prevent falls. Practicing good fall-prevention strategies in your loved one’s home also reduces the risk of an injury that could affect his or her longevity.
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 Toronto home care 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. If your loved one needs professional home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our Care Managers today at (416) 488-8777.