Doctors still have quite a bit to learn about what causes Parkinson’s and how it can be prevented. That being said, a few key risk factors for this disease have been identified, and older adults can take a few steps to reduce their risk of developing Parkinson’s.
1. Try to Eat Local and Organic
There are a few reasons older adults should try to eat local and organic foods, including lowering their risk of Parkinson’s. Many large food producers use harsh pesticides and insecticides, and those chemicals have been linked to a wide variety of neurodegenerative disorders. Organic and local foods aren’t always going to be completely safe, but they’re usually a much better option than mass-produced foods.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
2. Avoid Head Injuries
Head injuries are frighteningly common among the elderly, and brain damage caused by these injuries can result in Parkinson’s, dementia, and other cognitive problems. Older adults should always use mobility devices if they aren’t comfortable walking on their own, and they must constantly work on their strength and balance to avoid accidents.
3. Manage Other Medical Problems
Practically any cardiovascular problem will be a risk factor for Parkinson’s, which is one of the reasons seniors need to keep a close eye on their cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Many cardiovascular issues can easily be taken care of as long as they’re caught early on.
Professional caregivers can be a wonderful source of support and information about healthy lifestyle habits for seniors. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Richmond, VA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
4. Get More Sleep
During sleep, the brain is able to reset and flush out dangerous clusters of protein. Every person has slightly different sleep requirements, but most people are going to benefit from getting at least six or seven hours of restorative sleep per night.
5. Eradicate Household Toxins
Many older homes are filled with harmful toxins, and prolonged exposure to those contaminants could trigger Parkinson’s. At least once a year, everyone should have their homes tested for heavy metals and common toxins, such as asbestos, phthalates, lead, radon, and black mold. Those contaminants can usually be eradicated by professional cleaning and remediation services.
6. Manage Stress
A little bit of stress is perfectly natural, but chronic anxiety can damage many different areas of the brain and nervous system. When a person is stressed, some of the dopamine receptors in the brain can be permanently shut off, which is another risk factor for Parkinson’s. There are many different ways to reduce stress levels, including going to counseling, socializing with loved ones, meditating, journaling, and doing breathing exercises.
Very few habits can boost a senior’s health as much as exercising, and every older adult should try to get his or her heart rate up for at least 150 minutes a week. Physical activities can strengthen the heart and stabilize dopamine production. Exercising also regulates hormone levels, and hormone imbalances could play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Richmond families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (804) 207-4746.