Ensuring Your Loved Ones Parkinsons
Depending on where you live, assisted living options may be numerous and overwhelming or somewhat narrow and restrictive. And finding an assisted living community thats right for someone living with Parkinsons can make the search even more stressful than it already is. But Lehr says that if you know what youre looking for the process doesnt have to make you anxious, because there are several criteria that prospective residents and/or their families should consider when searching for the right assisted living community.
Study Design Patient And Clinical Characteristics
This retrospective cohort study included 469,055 elderly Medicare beneficiaries with a diagnosis of PD identified in the year 2002 and followed through December 31, 2005. Medicare is a government-mandated insurance and prescription program used by 98% of adults aged 65 years and older, and a portion of the disabled population. Our PD case assessment methods are described elsewhere.6 Briefly, we identified prevalent PD diagnoses in the Carrier Research Identifiable Files using the ICD-9 codes 332 and 332.0. Those beneficiaries who also had a diagnosis for a Parkinson-plus syndrome, or were younger than the age of standard Medicare eligibility , were excluded from further analysis.
How Do I Know If Home Care Is Possible
The following factors must be considered when determining whether home care will work for you and your loved one:
- The designated caregiver should have few other responsibilities not related to the care recipient .*
- The house must be large enough to comfortably accommodate the needs of the person with Parkinsons, including space for a lift chair, walker, wheelchair, bedside commode or other medical equipment required. Take a home safety tour to ensure your home is easily accessible.
- All rooms should be on one level. The home environment must be safe and supportive of maximum independence. Necessary structural changes, such as ramps, handrails, bathroom alterations, etc. have been made.
- Arrangements can be made to provide medications to the person with PD at required times, as well as meals, assistance with personal care, housekeeping, transportation and companionship.
*If the designated caregiver is someone you hire to provide around-the-clock care, consider the impact of someone else living in your home. Even though you are not responsible for daily cares, having another person in your house might cause stress and make it difficult to relax.
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Home Care Vs Assisted Living Communities
One of the things we encourage is that people living with Parkinsons have the highest and best quality of life possibleand that they live in the least restrictive environment possible, says John L. Lehr, CEO of the Parkinsons Foundation. To be sure, people like to remain in their homes and be around familiar spaces and people, so as long as they can do that safely and without any concern, we think thats good. But Parkinsons is progressive and degenerative, and there does sometimes come a point where being home with a spouse or caregiver becomes no longer safe. At that point we would encourage, along with input from a physician and others, that they consider a different environment, including assisted living.
Not only do assisted living communities provide ample opportunities for communal social interactiona significant benefit for those suffering from a disease that often leads to increased isolationbut they also provide help with activities of daily living like grooming, housekeeping and laundry, bathing, transportation, dressing, medication management, exercise and wellness programs and meal prep.
Personnel In Assisted Living Facilities For Parkinsons Patients
Assisted living facilities that specialize in caring for senior citizens with Parkinsons disease employ staff members who undergo additional training to know how to effectively deal with patients who have the disease. Caregivers here give occupants extra attention than what they offer other inhabitants who do not have Parkinsons. Taking care of such patients also gives the professionals experience to know how to handle members of the older generation regardless of the condition they are in.
Staff is always looking for swallowing difficulties, communication disabilities, and changes in physical form. If they notice anything is wrong, they come to help so that inhabitants can benefit from immediate medical attention to help relieve symptoms. This ensures that seniors suffering from Parkinsons disease are comfortable at all times and no changes go unnoticed. Staff members also make sure that they administer drugs at the right time so that they can work as they should.
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What Services Or Specialized Care Is Offered At Assisted Living Facilities For Parkinson’s Patients
For someone with Parkinson’s disease, they need increased accessibility. For instance, this can include increased access to group outings and social activities provided by the assisted living center. This also includes having staff available for assistance 24/7, which is available at most assisted living facilities. Increased accessibility also includes more onsite medical services and rehabilitation professionals.
In addition, an assisted living that caters to Parkinson’s patients should have experience with residents who have the disease. More importantly, the staff needs to be trained on how to identify signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s, as well as how to assist patients with the disease.
Icipants And Collected Data
Between July 2019 and December 2019, we surveyed patients with PD using a visiting nursing agency in a western region of Japan. The agency is unique in that it provides home-visit nursing services only to patients with PD. Although there are no official qualifications for PD nurses in Japan, this agency specializes in PD and, therefore, these nurses may have the most expertise for providing PD care. Our research participants were patients whose visiting nursing order records indicated PD as their primary illness, as determined by their physicians. Eligible patients who provided their consent to participate were included in the study. We collected both the visiting nursing records of these patients and the researcher-administered observation records of the nursing care provided by visiting nurses to these patients, either at their own home or in a nursing home. The attributes of the nurses that provided visiting care were polled via a questionnaire. Nurses were excluded from participation if they did not have either a regular nursing license or an associate nursing license in Japan.
The study activities were carried out after the study design was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe University .
2.1.1. Survey of Nurse Attributes and Experience
2.1.2. Visiting Nursing Records
2.1.3. Observation Record of Home Health Nursing Care
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Parkinsons Disease And Medicare Coverage
Medicare is made up of multiple parts. Each part covers different services and treatments that youll need to manage Parkinsons.
Original Medicare is composed of Part A and Part B. Part A covers a portion of your inpatient hospitalization costs. Part B provides coverage of outpatient medical needs including those for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
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Bathing And Personal Care Tips
For someone with Parkinsons disease, showering is typically preferred to taking baths because getting in and out of the tub becomes increasingly difficult. However, some people with PD may eventually experience changes in the brain that affect memory, judgement and focus. The Alzheimers Association estimates that 50 to 80 percent of Parkinsons patients experience these and other symptoms of dementia. Individuals living with Parkinsons disease dementia and Lewy body dementia may benefit from some adaptations, assistive devices and caregiving techniques that are used in dementia care.
For example, many dementia patients are confused or even frightened by the sound and feel of running water while showering. If your loved one requires assistance with bathing, be sure to give them time to adapt to the situation and understand what is happening. Gently talk them through the process, ensure they are warm and comfortable, and start by cleansing less sensitive areas of the body, such as the feet and hands, before proceeding to other areas.
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Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing care retirement communities are another good option for individuals with Parkinsons disease, however, CCRCs may have fairly high monthly costs as well as a steep admission fee so these facilities are usually best suited for individuals who have ample finances.
The significant benefit to CCRCs is that they offer different levels of care in one facility or on one campus. Some CCRCs offer assisted living, skilled nursing facility care, memory care, and nursing home care all in one location. When an individual becomes a resident of a CCRC, they are able to move between different levels of care as their needs change without having to move to a different facility.
This can be very beneficial for all seniors but particularly for people with Parkinsons disease who often have some cognitive and emotional impairment. In addition, it can be helpful to have staff who get to know the resident well and their specific preferences and needs during the time they live in the CCRC.
Parkinsons Specialized Home Care
Our Washington, D.C. and Maryland in-home caregiving services include everything from medication administration by LPNs and RNs to assisting with stretching and household duties by experienced Certified Nursing Assistants . Our goal is to make clients as comfortable as possible and to help make the most of each day for those living with Parkinsons and their loved ones.
Learn more about Family & Nursing Care by reading our
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Care Planning When You Have Parkinsons
Some days are better than others, but on the bad days it would be lovely to have some help, even if it was just to make me a cup of tea.
Thinking about future care options is a common concern. Mary has Parkinsons and lives alone in retirement housing near Exeter since her husband died 2 years ago. At 87, she has recently been considering her future care arrangements.
The Benefits Of Planning Ahead
Even if you do not expect a transition in the near future, it can be a good idea to visit facilities before a move is required. Starting early will allow you time to get to know the skilled nursing facilities in your area in case you need to make a quick decision. Keep in mind that your options may be dependent upon factors such as availability or finances.
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What To Look For In An Assisted Living Community
Parkinsons is a movement disorder, so first and foremost you want to look at an assisted living facility that is easy to navigate, with wide corridors and a general layout that is easy to move around in, says Lehr. You also want to make sure it has a well-trained staff that has experience caring for people with Parkinsons and understands how to respond to subtle changes in routines, behaviors, and corresponding therapies.
According to Lehr, the biggest benefits of assisted living for someone with Parkinsons come from closely monitored and concentrated care and increased opportunities for movement and socialization.
Parkinsons disease is a very socially isolating and stigmatizing disease. Despite all our efforts, it continues to be so, says Lehr. People can fall into deep depression or withdraw from their social lives altogether. Assisted living can bring them out for activities, social engagement, and opportunities to exercise and move around.
Serve Them A Healthy Diet
Constipation is a common side effect of Parkinsons, so its important to feed them a fiber-rich diet to encourage bowel movements. Their diet should also include a lot of calcium to fend off osteoporosis and keep their bones strong. If they have difficulty swallowing due to loss of motor function, fix them soft, moist food or shakes that are more easily swallowed. If they find it exhausting to eat a large meal, serve smaller meals more often. Note that the common Parkinsons drug Levodopa is best taken on an empty stomach, so you need to schedule it to be taken around their meals.
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Parkinsons And Independent Living
Unlike assisted living, independent living communities dont typically offer help with personal care like bathing, grooming, and toileting. Theyll usually offer home maintenance, meals, transportation services, and housekeeping while building a sense of community among residents through activities and gatherings, but personal and health care needs are often left to third-party providers.
Parkinsons Symptoms: What To Expect
Parkinsons symptoms vary from person to person. Sometimes, early symptoms of PD may be dismissed as normal effects of aging, according to the National Institute on Aging. The onset of Parkinsons in the elderly may be subtle slower movements, impeded coordination, and mild tremors may not be particularly noticeable at first. Symptoms often begin on one side of the body but will likely come to affect both sides as the disease progresses.
Some symptoms of Parkinsons may include the following:
- Trouble swallowing, chewing, and speaking
- Sleep disruption
Parkinsons symptoms by stage
During the early stages of the disease, Parkinsons symptoms are often mild and dont interfere much with daily life. For this reason, diagnosis may be delayed, according to Cleveland Clinic. As PD progresses, symptoms become worse. In the middle stages, balance problems and falls become more common, and tremors may increase. While people can remain generally independent, activities of daily living can become more difficult.
For someone living with Parkinsons, help at home eventually may be necessary, as standing and walking may become harder over time. By the time PD reaches its later stages, dementia, hallucinations, and delusions are likely. Most people cant move independently when the disease reaches that point, and full-time nursing or family care becomes required.
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Recently I Was Able To Ask Ms Rochford About Her Work
1) What is Barrier-Free design?
Barrier-Free Design is an individualized plan to increase the accessibility and safety of an individuals home environment. This can include structural changes to the home as well as the use of equipment to aid in the performance of daily tasks. As an OT, I evaluate the person, their home environment, and the activities he/she wants and needs to perform. Because I understand the medical conditions of the people I am evaluating, I am not only planning for their current needs but am thinking and planning for their possible future needs. When collaborating with an architect and/or contractor on more complex home modifications, I view myself as a bridge between the patient and the home builder. I am able to speak both of their languages, so I can help design the environment to maximize the persons function.
2) Is this a service that is widely available in occupational therapy departments? If not, are there other ways to access similar services?
3) What are the most common types of home modifications that you recommend for Parkinsons patients?
4) What was the most complex home modification that you recommended/designed?
5) How do people finance these home modifications?
How To Help Someone With Parkinsons Stay Mobile
A very common symptom of Parkinsons is freezing. This happens when a person is walking or moving and suddenly experiences extreme rigidity and an almost complete loss of movement as if their feet are glued to the floor. When this happens, prompting can help your loved one become unstuck. Ask them to pretend that they are stepping over an imaginary line or object on the floor, or even encourage them to rock very slowly and gently from side to side to help them get moving again. If freezing is a common occurrence for your loved one, consider purchasing a specialty mobility device like a walker or rollator that is equipped with a laser pointer. When freezing occurs, they can simply press a button to project a laser line on the floor and use it as a visual cue to help them continue moving.
Massage therapy for Parkinsons patients can alleviate stress and relieve spasms, tremors, rigidity and muscle cramps. Heating pads also soothe aching muscles, and menthol pain relieving gel does wonders for stiff joints, but never use both together.
Exercising can be difficult at first but very beneficial for those living with PD. Encourage your loved one to do hand exercises like squeezing a rubber ball for short periods of time throughout the day to help reduce tremors and to keep hands and fingers strong and flexible. Even short daily walks and a mild fitness routine can keep muscles, tendons and joints strong for as long as possible.
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Ability To Transition To More Comprehensive Care
Another consideration is when the need for care intensifies and needs to become more comprehensive and your loved one moves from assisted living into a skilled nursing environment, would you have to find an entirely new facility for this additional care or can you move them within the organization.
As Bethesda offers skilled nursing, the transition to a more supervised level of service is available. Our assisted living residents always have priority access to the higher levels of care, adds Lea Ann.
If you are considering an Assisted Living community for yourself or a senior loved one, schedule a tour at Bethesda Hawthorne Place or Charless Village. Our unique living options are available for all senior residents, ensuring that you receive the right level of care, at the right time.
If I Exercise Will I Still Need My Parkinsons Medications
Some people find that exercise helps them reduce the doses of Parkinsons medications over time. But exercise is not a replacement for your medications. In fact, some people need more medications so they can stay active. Dont make changes to your medications without talking to your healthcare providers.
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Expertly Trained In Parkinson’s Disease Care
Senior Helpers Parkinsons Care Program is a specialized training program for our caregivers created in conjunction with leading experts from the Parkinsons Foundations Centers of Excellence network. This program, the first of its kind in the in-home senior care industry, is designed to provide our caregivers with the expert training and education necessary to create personalized care plans for individuals living with Parkinsons disease.
Parkinsons is a progressive condition, which means your loved ones care needs will change as the disease advances. At first, you may just need some assistance with running errands, but that might evolve to include assistance with personal care and activities of daily living. There is not a one-size fits all approach to care, which is why Senior Helpers works with each of our clients to develop a care plan unique to their specific needs.
Senior Helpers caregivers are educated and trained on:
- How Parkinsons disease advances and changes
- Techniques and strategies to identify and manage the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinsons
- Home safety and fall prevention
- Diet and nutrition