Changes In Cognition And Parkinsons Disease
Some people with Parkinsons may experience changes in their cognitive function, including problems with memory, attention, and the ability to plan and accomplish tasks. Stress, depression, and some medications may also contribute to these changes in cognition.
Over time, as the disease progresses, some people may develop dementia and be diagnosed with Parkinsons dementia, a type of Lewy body dementia. People with Parkinsons dementia may have severe memory and thinking problems that affect daily living.
Talk with your doctor if you or a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinsons disease and is experiencing problems with thinking or memory.
The Basics Of Assisted Living
An assisted living community could be an apartment building, a campus-like setting, or even a large converted house. According to the Assisted Living Federation of America , most have between 24 and 120 units that vary in size from a single room to a full apartment. Residents generally have a lot of freedom in terms of what they do and when they do it, but they should also get plenty of support from trained caregivers.
Assisted living is regulated by each state rather than by the federal government, so you can expect wide variation in what each community offers, which is especially important to understand when considering this option for someone living with Parkinsons.
Diagnosis Of Parkinsons Disease
There are currently no blood or laboratory tests to diagnose non-genetic cases of Parkinsons. Doctors usually diagnose the disease by taking a persons medical history and performing a neurological examination. If symptoms improve after starting to take medication, its another indicator that the person has Parkinsons.
A number of disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of Parkinsons disease. People with Parkinsons-like symptoms that result from other causes, such as multiple system atrophy and dementia with Lewy bodies, are sometimes said to have parkinsonism. While these disorders initially may be misdiagnosed as Parkinsons, certain medical tests, as well as response to drug treatment, may help to better evaluate the cause. Many other diseases have similar features but require different treatments, so it is important to get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible.
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Peace Of Mind And Reassurance
Rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission
The Good Care Group is the only live-in care provider in the UK to achieve an Outstanding rating by CQC across all five categories safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. We know this provides families with peace of mind that their loved one is receiving the best possible care.
A fully managed and regulated Parkinsons care service
We provide a fully managed and regulated Parkinsons care service which offers families reassurance at a time they need it most. Unlike introduction agencies who are not regulated by CQC, all our professional carers are directly employed and managed by us. We ensure they are supervised by an experienced manager and supported by clinical experts 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.
Local teams with national coverage
We operate nationwide with a local approach to management of our teams near you. Each dedicated care manager has as small portfolio of clients to support, enabling the care team to provide a tailored one-to-one approach with unrivalled levels of monitoringand support.
Parkinsons Disease: Causes Symptoms And Treatments
Parkinsons disease is a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.
Symptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. They may also have mental and behavioral changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, and fatigue.
While virtually anyone could be at risk for developing Parkinsons, some research studies suggest this disease affects more men than women. Its unclear why, but studies are underway to understand factors that may increase a persons risk. One clear risk is age: Although most people with Parkinsons first develop the disease after age 60, about 5% to 10% experience onset before the age of 50. Early-onset forms of Parkinsons are often, but not always, inherited, and some forms have been linked to specific gene mutations.
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Support For People Living With Parkinsons Disease
While the progression of Parkinsons is usually slow, eventually a persons daily routines may be affected. Activities such as working, taking care of a home, and participating in social activities with friends may become challenging. Experiencing these changes can be difficult, but support groups can help people cope. These groups can provide information, advice, and connections to resources for those living with Parkinsons disease, their families, and caregivers. The organizations listed below can help people find local support groups and other resources in their communities.
Parkinsons Disease In The Elderly And Their Care
Parkinsons disease in the elderly is a progressive brain and movement disorder that affects people over 50 and makes it difficult for them to perform daily tasks, move, and walk. Like Alzheimers disease, it destroys brain cells. Parkinsons disease develops chronically in the person and gradually beats the patients physical strength, and the patient loses the ability to move and speak.
Parkinsons disease is caused by a loss or decrease in the secretion of a substance called dopamine. The dopamine hormone is a neurotransmitter, and the absence of this substance causes the loss of control over the movement of muscles and causes uncontrollable vibrations.
Symptoms of Parkinsons disease
Treatment of Parkinsons disease
- Use of medication
Levodopa is an amino acid that is converted to dopamine in the brain. Taking this drug activates nerve cells using the dopamine produced and reduces symptoms such as slowness of movement and stiffness of muscles and joints in the person, and the patient can move his limbs quickly.
Other drugs such as Apokin, Mirapex, Parlodel, and Ricoep are prescribed to reduce motor symptoms in the elderly. A specialist doctor should prescribe each medication, as drug interactions can have irreversible effects on the aged.
- Supportive therapies
Caring for a patient with Parkinsons
Caring for a Parkinsons patient in a Cavendish Manor Retirement Residence
How Can Centric Healthcares Services Help Patients With Parkinsons Disease
Centric Healthcare services help patients with Parkinsons disease by encouraging them to become more physically active i.e. by exercising regularly, eating a well-balanced and healthy diet, and also by improving ones sleep. Centrics healthcare professionals reinforce the preventive measures in their routine service visits.
Plan Ahead & Research Help For Their Care
Prepare for when your parent can no longer do many routine tasks on their own. We recommend organizing and implementing proper financial planning as early as possible to avoid putting any financial strain on yourself and/or your family.
A practical next step might be researching the different living options for your parents, such as in-home care. Moving to a nursing home or assisted living center can often trigger stress, anxiety, discomfort, and a faster rate of health deterioration.
With Mind & Mobilitys in-home alternatives to assisted living, your parent can maintain their independence in the comfort of their own home with the assistance they need to stay healthy and safe.
Caring For Someone With Parkinsons Disease
Caring for someone with Parkinsons disease will change as the condition progresses.Your loved one is likely to cope well on their own during the early stages, and may only require transportation to doctors appointments, social engagements, and shopping trips. But their dependence will inevitably grow, and at some point, they may need your help with daily personal tasks, medication management, making financial decisions, and advocating with healthcare providers on their behalf.
Parkinsons disease places a significant burden on family caregivers, and they tend to suffer from higher rates of anxiety, depression, and sleep-related problems. These issues are even more common when Parkinsons disease causes a loved one to experience dementia, hallucinations, and other cognitive issues.
Caring for someone with Parkinsons disease can also result in social isolation, especially once the disorder reaches advanced stages. In some cases, caregivers reported that their increasing responsibilities led to tension with a spouse or partner. They were also more likely to report financial strain, especially if they reduced work hours or left their jobs entirely because of caregiving obligations.
Related Diagnosis: Lewy Body Dementia
Current research is helping to differentiate dementia related conditions in relationship to Parkinsonâs disease. Doctorâs use a 12-month arbitrary rule to aid in diagnosis. When dementia is present before or within 1 year of Parkinsonâs motor symptoms developing, an individual is diagnosed with DLB. Those who have an existing diagnosis of Parkinsonâs for more than a year, and later develop dementia, are diagnosed with PDD.
In the simplest terms, Lewy bodies are abnormal clumps of proteins that develop in nerve cells. Cholinesterase inhibitors, medications originally developed for Alzheimerâs disease, are the standard treatment today for cognitive DLB and PDD symptoms. Early diagnosis is important, as DLB patients may respond differently than Alzheimerâs disease patients to certain drug, behavioral, and dementia care treatments.
This challenging, multi-system disorder involving movement, cognition, behavior, sleep, and autonomic function requires a comprehensive treatment approach to maximize the quality of life for both the care recipient and their caregiver. It is very important to pay attention to symptoms of dementia and to search for an expert clinician who can diagnose the condition accurately.
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Challenges Seniors And Caregivers Are Likely To Face
People with Parkinsons Disease may find it difficult to communicate their problems. The person may have different symptoms each day. Sometimes they will be able to do their work normally, and sometimes they need to depend on others. This is a part of Parkinsons Disease.
The caregiver may feel that the person is being manipulative or demanding unnecessarily. The caregiver needs to know well about the disease and keep in mind that the disease is very unpredictable. The disease may worsen over time. Consulting the doctor and taking medication will ease some symptoms but not stop the progression.
Depression is also a part of the disease, and getting the treatment on time will help your loved ones cope with the problems early.
Medicines For Parkinsons Disease
Medicines can help treat the symptoms of Parkinsons by:
- Increasing the level of dopamine in the brain
- Having an effect on other brain chemicals, such as neurotransmitters, which transfer information between brain cells
- Helping control non-movement symptoms
The main therapy for Parkinsons is levodopa. Nerve cells use levodopa to make dopamine to replenish the brains dwindling supply. Usually, people take levodopa along with another medication called carbidopa. Carbidopa prevents or reduces some of the side effects of levodopa therapy such as nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, and restlessness and reduces the amount of levodopa needed to improve symptoms.
People living with Parkinsons disease should never stop taking levodopa without telling their doctor. Suddenly stopping the drug may have serious side effects, like being unable to move or having difficulty breathing.
The doctor may prescribe other medicines to treat Parkinsons symptoms, including:
- Dopamine agonists to stimulate the production of dopamine in the brain
- Enzyme inhibitors to increase the amount of dopamine by slowing down the enzymes that break down dopamine in the brain
- Amantadine to help reduce involuntary movements
- Anticholinergic drugs to reduce tremors and muscle rigidity
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Best Physical And Occupational Therapy Exercises
Physical therapy exercises target your areas of concern. They can help develop your strength, balance, and coordination. Youll also enhance your functional mobility by improving concentration, flexibility, and range of motion.
Occupational therapy exercises are intended to help you perform daily activities related to work, school, or home with greater ease.
Help Them Stay Social
Being homebound with a debilitating disease can be lonely for your aging parent. Its important to help them stay connected to their friends and family.
Help them spend time with friends or enjoy visitors in their home.
Your parent might also benefit from interacting with others suffering from Parkinsons.
Find a local Parkinsons support group. Your loved one might enjoy a community of people their age who can relate to the challenges of Parkinsons.
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How Care Providers Can Assist With Late Stage Parkinsons Care
With added hands-on care required, its essential for family caregivers to learn how to properly and efficiently provide this support to minimize the possibility of doing harm to either themselves or the loved one being cared for.
If the older adult isnt already receiving physical therapy services, check with the physician for a referral. The physical therapist, while helping optimize the persons ability level, may also advise family caregivers on the ideal approaches for hands-on assistance.
One new symptom that frequently develops in the later stages of Parkinsons is freezing, when the person is suddenly unable to move. Methods to help break a freezing episode include:
- Using a laser pointer and asking the person to step on the light
- Utilizing a rhythmic noise, such as clapping, and encouraging the person to take a step with each clap
- Playing music and prompting the individual to walk to the beat
As always, stay close at hand when the person is mobile to avoid a fall.
Make sure to provide an abundance of extra time for day-to-day activities such as getting dressed and eating, which are likely to take longer now. This is important in protecting the persons self-sufficiency. Even if it requires longer to accomplish a task, it is always better to foster as much self-reliance as you possibly can.
What Should We Look For In A Nursing Home Facility
The following checklist will help you and your family to evaluate different nursing homes. Review the checklist before your visit to the facility. Be sure to take this checklist with you.
Nursing Home Checklist
FIRST: Ask for a list of references of people who have used their facility and are willing to speak to prospective residents. Your physician may have experience with a particular facility.
- Does the nursing home provide the level of care needed, such as skilled or intermediate care?
- Does the nursing home meet local and/or state licensing requirements?
- Does the nursing home’s administrator have an up-to-date license?
- Does the nursing home meet state fire regulations ?
- What are the visiting hours?
- What is the policy on insurance and personal property?
- What is the procedure for responding to a medical emergency?
- Does the nursing home have a Medicare license?
- Is there a waiting period for admission?
- What are the admission requirements?
Fees and financing
- Have fees increased significantly in the past few years?
- Is the fee structure easy to understand?
- What are the billing, payment, and credit policies?
- Are there different costs for various levels or categories of services?
- Are the billing and accounting procedures understandable?
- Does the nursing home reveal what services are covered in the quoted fee and what services are extra?
- What governmental financing options are accepted ?
- When may a contract be terminated? What is the refund policy?
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What Is Included In Our Service
Our highly personalised Parkinsons disease home care includes:
- Full assessment before care starts
- Bespoke and flexible care plan developed with input from the family and other healthcare professionals
- Matching of the most suitable care team to meet the holistic needs of our clients
- Dedicated care team led by an expert regional care manager
- Meal planning and household tasks
- Social activities and lifestyle enhancement
- Specialist support and expertise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Access to clinical expertise and medical support
Tips For Caring For Elderly Loved Ones With Parkinsons Disease
Life after a Parkinsons disease diagnosis can often be difficult and uncertain. Medical science hasnt fully explained what causes Parkinsons disease, and we still do not have a cure. However, there are plenty of ways you can help your elderly loved ones to manage their Parkinsons while caring for them at home.
We understand that you want to care for your loved ones in the best ways possible. When a loved one has Parkinsons disease, that includes having a thorough understanding of their disabilities, their capabilities, and how you might be able to stand in the gaps.
Here are three tips that you can use when caring for elderly with Parkinsons disease:
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Youre An Important Part Of Parkinsons Care
Its difficult to watch our parents grow old and struggle in any way shape or form. Its also difficult to know how to help.
Finding professional help for Parkinsons care is one of the best ways to help your parent. Its also one of the best ways to find the support you need as their caretaker.
Mind and Mobility can provide support for both you and your parent suffering from Parkinsons disease. We are a caring community of experts helping seniors age at home with comfort and grace.
Contact Mind& Mobility for a free consultation and guidance on the best plan for your parent.
Eating Drinking And Parkinsons Disease
- Dont rush your meals. Allow the extra time you need to finish your meal. Rest your elbows on the table to provide more motion at your wrist and hand.
- Sit with your knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle in a straight-back chair.
- Use utensils with built-up, lightweight handles, or use a spork a spoon and fork in one. Use a rocker knife for cutting food.
- Use a non-skid mat to stabilize objects on the table.
- Use a plate guard or plate with a raised lip to prevent food from spilling.
- Use a long straw with a non-spill cup or use a plastic mug with a large handle.
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