Do Seniors with Parkinson’s Have an Increased Risk of Dementia?

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Why Do Seniors with Parkinson’s Have an Increased Risk of Dementia in Richmond, VA

Some seniors develop dementia while living with Parkinson’s, but it’s not inevitable. Your elderly parent can take steps to lower the risk of dementia and reduce symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. Below are some of the reasons seniors with Parkinson’s are at higher risk for dementia and how to handle each issue.

Symptoms

Dementia is one of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. At first, most issues are mild, such as slow or stiff walking, coordination problems, changes in handwriting, and tremors. However, over time, more severe symptoms can appear, such as noticeable weight loss, difficulty urinating, chewing issues, and dementia. To prevent the more severe symptoms, your loved one should adopt healthy habits and follow all treatments recommended by his or her doctor.

Factors

Age is one of the most significant factors associated with dementia. Adults over the age of 62 have a higher risk of developing dementia if they’re living with Parkinson’s. The brain changes caused by Parkinson’s can also lead to dementia. These changes start gradually and, over time, begin to affect mental functions, making it difficult to remember things, pay attention, and make sound decisions.

Cognitive issues 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. Richmond, VA, 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.

Lewy Bodies

Parkinson’s destroys dopamine-producing brain cells, which is also a critical factor in the development of dementia. The loss of dopamine can damage nerve cell communication and cause substantia nigra cells to collect proteins known as Lewy bodies. The deposits negatively impact the ability to think, feel, and move. Obtaining a diagnosis for Lewy body dementia is difficult because most of its symptoms are similar to those associated with Parkinson’s. However, without a medical diagnosis and proper treatment, the symptoms could progress quickly and reduce your loved one’s independence. 

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 home care Richmond, VA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Life with Parkinson’s

Aging adults with Parkinson’s can take steps to live active, fun, and dementia-free lives. For example, developing a moderate exercise routine and working out a few days each week can keep muscles flexible and mobile. During exercise, the body releases brain-boosting feel-good chemicals that can reduce the risk of issues such as depression and anxiety. Enhancing brain chemistry by eating nutritious meals full of protein could lower the risk of dementia and allow your loved one to continue caring for him or herself and communicating with others.

Prevention

Older adults can lower their risk of Parkinson’s and ultimately reduce the odds of dementia. To prevent the disease, your parent should eat fresh foods, especially raw vegetables that contain plenty of folic acid, a B vitamin that significantly reduces the risk of Parkinson’s. Your loved one should also get plenty of vitamin D, which can help the body function normally, boost metabolism, and reduce the risk of dementia.

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 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. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (804) 207-4746 today.

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