Parkinson’s disease is one of the prevalent health condition affecting our elderly. It affects the movement and motor control of the elderly. Changes in the living environment and activity modifications can help the elderly be a part of the daily routine of their loved ones as much as possible.
Parkinson’s Disease in the Elderly
“Parkinson’s disease (also known as Parkinson disease, or PD) is a neurological disorder that occurs when certain neurons in the brain die or become impaired. These nerve cells, located in a midbrain structure that controls muscle movement, produce dopamine, the chemical responsible for coordinated muscle function. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease begin to appear when 80% of these neurons become damaged.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Parkinson’s affects 50% more men than women, but impacts people of all ethnicity and socioeconomic backgrounds. According to the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF), approximately 60,000 new cases of PD are diagnosed each year, joining the 1.5 million Americans who have the disease. The condition usually affects those over age 65. Approximately 1% of seniors have some form of the disease.”
Caring for Seniors with Parkinson’s Disease – Advice for Families and Caregivers
“Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder which usually begins in a person’s 50s or 60s. The disease develops differently in everyone, but eventually inhibits the body’s ability to do such things as move, walk, talk, and swallow. As it progresses, the person will need increasing amounts of help.
What can I do to help my parent deal with her stiff limbs from Parkinson’s?
It will be important for your parent to see both a physical therapist and an occupational therapist (someone trained to help people overcome disabilities to function in work and home environments) who specializes in Parkinson’s disease.”
Planning Daily Activities With Parkinson’s Disease
“Parkinson’s disease can affect many aspects of a person’s daily life. However, with careful planning and activity moderation, the effects of Parkinson’s can become much less stressful and intrusive.
The following suggestions offer guidance to overcome some of the difficulties associated with the disease.
Plan periods of rest. Be sure to get plenty of rest. You may need to plan at least one rest period every day. If you have swelling in your feet or ankles, elevate your legs when you are resting or sitting for prolonged periods. Avoid working long days. Rest between recreation and leisure activities.”