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San Diego Elder Care presents the Top 3 Challenges for Elderly Parkinson’s Patients

There are over 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease diagnosed each year, joining the more than 1.5 million Americans who have the disease.  While Parkinson’s has been seen in young adults and children, the chronic and degenerative disease primarily affects elderly individuals over the age of 65.
In a healthy body, the cells of the nervous system harness a brain chemical called dopamine in order to control and manipulate the body’s muscles. Parkinson’s disease causes the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine to degenerate and die.  The cells in this part of the brain are then unable to properly communicate with the muscles, resulting in both dramatic and permanent effects.  Home Care San Diego, offered by San Diego Home Care Assistance presents the 3 most common challenges as a result of Parkinson’s.

  1. Immobility & Stiffness
    Parkinson’s patients often experience loss of muscle coordination, muscle atrophy and muscle stiffness as a result of the disease.  While there is no treatment for Parkinson’s, there are medications to help slow the progression of the symptoms, as well as several exercises that can be done daily to help maintain muscle strength and mobility for as long as possible.  Some of the services provided by caregivers can include encouragement and help with daily exercises.  For more information about elder care services, click here.
  2. Difficulty Chewing & Eating
    Over the course of the disease, almost all Parkinson’s patients experience difficulty chewing, swallowing or eating.  This occurs when the disease has affected the brain cells that control the muscles of the mouth, jaw and throat.   The sudden loss of the ability to swallow or chew properly can be extremely hazardous to elderly patients.  It is important for Parkinson’s patients to eat slowly and eliminate difficult to eat foods to avoid serious injury or digestive discomfort. Read more about our senior care San Diego service.
  3. Cognitive Changes
    Contrary to popular belief, Parkinson’s is not just a physical disorder. Parkinson’s patients often experience bouts of forgetfulness, confusion and are easily distracted.  These symptoms are usually mild, but can be frustrating and challenging for Parkinson’s patients.  Patients and caregivers who are aware of these cognitive changes can address them properly as the disease progresses to make living with the disease as comfortable as possible.

If you or your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and requires additional assistance at home, contact Home Care Assistance of San Diego today.  Our expert caregivers provide specialty Parkinson’s care in San Diego that is designed to help address and minimize the symptoms of the disease.  Caregivers also assist with activities of daily living including cooking, cleaning, and laundry and can provide transportation for errands to the grocery store or pharmacy.

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