Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disorder that impacts the brain as well as the central nervous system. As the disorder progresses, some seniors develop a secondary condition known as Parkinson’s disease dementia. Here’s a closer look at how many people with Parkinson’s develop dementia and a few steps caregivers can take to help those who have these two conditions.
Understanding Parkinson’s Disease
Even though millions of dollars have been spent researching Parkinson’s, doctors still have quite a bit to learn about this disease. What doctors have discovered is that Parkinson’s impacts the area of the brain responsible for creating and regulating dopamine. When that unique chemical is no longer being processed correctly, a variety of symptoms can result, ranging from tremors and limited mobility to insomnia and depression.
A Closer Look at Dementia
Dementia is a cluster of disorders that share many of the same symptoms. Currently, experts believe there are more than 400 unique types of dementia, and each type has its own risk factors. Some cases of dementia are caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to heavy metals and airborne toxins. Seniors who have had brain injuries are much more likely to develop some form of dementia, and in recent years, researchers have discovered dementia can also be caused by Parkinson’s disease.
Cognitive issues associated with dementia can make it difficult for seniors to live at home independently. 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. Dallas, TX, 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.
Causes & Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
As Parkinson’s progresses, it continues to damage many different areas of the brain. Over time, this damage can result in dementia and other cognitive disorders. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, somewhere between 50 and 80 percent of people with Parkinson’s will develop dementia at some point. That being said, dementia usually doesn’t develop until Parkinson’s has done quite a bit of damage, and many people enjoy long and fulfilling lives after being diagnosed with the disease.
If your older loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you’ll need to keep an eye out for any signs that his or her cognitive health might be compromised. While some cognitive decline is a natural part of the aging process, be wary of any sudden changes in memory, personality, or problem-solving skills. Dementia often makes it difficult to remember important names, dates, and other facts. Aging adults with dementia may also have a difficult time carrying out everyday tasks, such as paying their bills and making meals.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care Dallas, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Helping Seniors with Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
There are currently no treatments that will stop the development of this form of dementia, which is why most treatment plans focus on alleviating the symptoms. Many seniors with Parkinson’s are now being prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors to help with issues such as sleep disturbances, behavioral changes, and visual hallucinations. Those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s should also work with physical or occupational therapists. One of these medical professionals can help your loved one address some of the physical symptoms, including limited mobility, reduced dexterity, difficulty swallowing, and tremors.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Dallas Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call us today at (214) 363-3400 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.