Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, which is the most common form of Parkinson’s, can be a scary diagnosis for seniors and their families. It’s one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders in the world and can have a big impact on the ability to remain independent as it progresses. The disease goes through a series of five stages, and scientists are still unclear about exactly what causes it. Learn more about the disease, including what a person’s life expectancy is after the diagnosis.
Life Expectancy for Idiopathic Parkinson’s
One of the first questions many people have after a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis is how long someone can live. The truth is that it may not impact your senior loved one’s life expectancy at all. Each case is different. Most people are over the age of 60 when they receive their diagnosis, and many typically go on to live as long as any other person in that age group would. However, while the disease isn’t necessarily fatal, some people may die from complications related to the symptoms of Parkinson’s. For example, they may choke because they’re unable to swallow their food, or they may fall, which can lead to fatal head injuries.
An in-home caregiver can be a fantastic asset for a senior with Parkinson’s. When considering homecare 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.
The Progression of Parkinson’s
No two cases of Parkinson’s disease are the same. One person may progress rapidly, while another may go years before experiencing many symptoms. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, there are five stages of the disease:
- Stage 1 – The first stage is when a person begins experiencing tremors and other slight symptoms, usually on one side of the body. They do not affect the ability to take care of him or herself.
- Stage 2 – By the second stage, the person may experience the symptoms on both sides of the body, and it could impact the ability to walk safely.
- Stage 3 – During the third stage, the person with Parkinson’s may find he or she can’t move as quickly as before. The individual may also lose his or her balance easily.
- Stage 4 – Once the disease progresses to the fourth stage, the person needs help with many activities and is no longer able to live alone.
- Stage 5 – Stage five is the most advanced stage, and it can be the roughest on seniors and their caregivers. The senior may become confined to bed, and mental health may be impacted.
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. Barrie, 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 Is Parkinson’s Treated?
Parkinson’s disease in itself doesn’t have a cure. However, doctors can slow the progression of the disease and treat some of the symptoms. Lifestyle changes, medication, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, rest, and other types of therapy may prevent the disease from advancing to stage five or at least delay the advancement.
Who Is at Risk?
Everyone is at risk for Parkinson’s disease. While scientists haven’t yet discovered what causes it, age seems to be the biggest factor. It’s more common in seniors over the age of 60, and men are more likely to get it than women. If you have a family history of the disease, you may be at a greater risk, and certain illnesses, traumas, and environmental factors, such as exposure to pesticides, are also thought to play roles in the development of the disease.
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 Barrie senior 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. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home Parkinson’s care services, contact us at 705-503-2273 today.