When it comes to progressive diseases such as Parkinson’s, determining an individual’s life expectancy can be quite complicated. There are many different factors to consider, and every senior reacts to treatment differently. Here’s a look at exactly what idiopathic Parkinson’s is and a few of the factors that impact how quickly this disease progresses.
Facts about Idiopathic Parkinson’s
When medical professionals don’t know exactly what causes a disease, they refer to it as an idiopathic condition. While some factors increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s, scientists still don’t know exactly what causes this disease. Most doctors agree that genetics and age are the two biggest risk factors for Parkinson’s, but environment seems to play a role as well. Certain environmental toxins and chemicals damage various areas of the brain, which can result in a wide variety of serious medical conditions, including Parkinson’s.
Stages of Parkinson’s Disease
This disease usually progresses through four or five distinct stages, and an individual’s life expectancy depends on which stage he or she is in. During the first stage of Parkinson’s, the individual might not even know he or she has the disease, and only minor symptoms are present. As the disease progresses through the next few stages, the symptoms become much more pronounced. Issues such as tremors and muscle rigidity begin to make everyday activities more difficult. By the fourth and fifth stages, seniors lose their independence, and the symptoms become life-altering.
An in-home caregiver can be a fantastic source of assistance for a senior with Parkinson’s. When considering elderly 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.
Average Life Expectancy
The first thing seniors and their families need to understand is that Parkinson’s disease itself isn’t fatal. This disease produces secondary complications that are extremely dangerous. In the later stages of Parkinson’s, falls are very common and often result in severe head injuries. Aspiration is another major problem for seniors with Parkinson’s because the disease causes weakness in the face and throat muscles. Most seniors are diagnosed with this disease around the age of 60, and many of those individuals live well into their 70s and 80s. The key to living a long and fulfilling life with Parkinson’s is to immediately begin a comprehensive treatment plan.
If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Richardson, Texas, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Professional Treatments & Lifestyle Changes
After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the average person is going to be put on at least one or two medications. These drugs are usually designed to trigger the production of dopamine, which lessens the symptoms. Some seniors also undergo alternative treatments, such as deep brain stimulation, and many of those procedures have very high success rates. In addition to getting professional treatment, seniors with Parkinson’s must also dedicate themselves to making healthy lifestyle choices. Exercising, socializing, getting plenty of sleep, and sticking to a nutritious diet can all be very beneficial.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior with Parkinson’s. Families looking for top-rated senior 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 about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at (469) 573-4213 today.