Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease tends to affect older adults, but it can also be diagnosed in people under the age of 60. After a diagnosis, one of the first questions you might ask is how long your senior loved one is expected to live. The truth is Parkinson’s disease isn’t fatal, and it’s treatable throughout each stage. While most people will encounter at least one major change in their abilities by the ten-year mark, you can anticipate your loved one could live for at least twenty more years or longer. Your ability to help your loved one receive proper care throughout life may extend his or her longevity.
Understanding the Different Stages
People with Parkinson’s disease may live for many years with only mild symptoms, or they may progress rapidly through the different stages. Understanding where your loved one is in the progression of the disease allows you to make the best arrangements for his or her care.
Parkinson’s disease has five main stages, and the symptoms can sometimes overlap among those stages. If your loved one is in the earlier stages, he or she may only need mild forms of assistance at home. Many of the symptoms may also be controllable with proper medication. As your loved one moves into the later stages of Parkinson’s, he or she may gradually need higher levels of care, such as assistance with walking and eating.
Mobility limitations and other safety issues in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease can make caring for aging adults 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. Green Valley, AZ, Embrace In-Home Care 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.
Factors that Influence the Progression
There’s currently no single reason some people progress through the stages of Parkinson’s disease faster than others. However, it’s believed that many different factors, including overall physical health, play a role in who develops severe symptoms. It’s also understood that people who are diagnosed in the earlier stages of the disease tend to have better prognoses.
Help your loved one maintain his or her health, and make sure he or she takes medications as prescribed. If your loved one has other health conditions that exacerbate the Parkinson’s symptoms, you may also need to make sure those conditions are being managed. For example, uncontrolled diabetes can also cause symptoms such as shaking that make Parkinson’s tremors worse.
An in-home caregiver can be a fantastic asset for a senior with Parkinson’s. When considering at-home 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.
Ways to Increase Longevity
It’s reassuring to know you can help your loved one enjoy a long life with Parkinson’s disease. The majority of people who experience Parkinson’s-related fatalities do so as a result of the symptoms they experience as they progress through the stages. For instance, fall-related injuries are a serious risk your loved one faces now, since Parkinson’s symptoms could cause a loss of balance. Seniors are also at greater risk for choking on their food once their symptoms interfere with the ability to chew and swallow. Make sure your loved one has help that addresses these symptoms. For instance, having a caregiver help your loved one sit up and cut food into smaller pieces can prevent life-threatening events from occurring during daily activities.
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 Green Valley home care providers can reach out to Embrace In-Home Care. 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. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (520) 625-2050 to learn more about our customized care plans.