First documented by English surgeon James Parkinson in the early 1800s, Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that can produce a wide range of physical symptoms. These symptoms are collectively termed parkinsonism, and parkinsonism is often further broken down into two more specific types of Parkinson’s disease, sometimes called idiopathic parkinsonism and atypical parkinsonism.
Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with everyday activities, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elder care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
Approximately 80 to 85 percent of people with the disease have idiopathic Parkinson’s. There’s no clear cause associated with it, yet it often responds well to medications that replace reduced amounts of dopamine molecules in the brain. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, these are the signs and symptoms typically associated with the disease:
• Slowness (bradykinesia)
• Stiffness (rigidity)
• Imbalance (postural instability)
Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Columbus, OH, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
Atypical Parkinsonism Disorders
About 15 percent of those with symptoms that suggest Parkinson’s have one of several conditions called “atypical parkinsonism disorders.” These conditions are typically more difficult to treat than Parkinson’s and include:
• Drug-induced parkinsonism – This atypical parkinsonism is linked to the use of certain medications, including antipsychotic drugs. Parkinson’s symptoms such as tremors and instability usually go away a few weeks after the medication is stopped.
• Vascular parkinsonism – A series of small strokes is the cause of this type of atypical parkinsonism. More common in older individuals and people with diabetes, it often results in Parkinson’s-like symptoms that affect the upper body before the lower body is affected.
• Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) – The source of this type of atypical parkinsonism is problems with spinal fluid. Treatment often involves a lumbar puncture to divert spinal fluid.
• Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) – This is a common atypical parkinsonism that often develops later in life. Once symptoms appear, they tend to progress rapidly.
• Multiple system atrophy (MSA) – Overproduction of a protein found in the brain called alpha-synuclein is the cause of this type of atypical parkinsonism. What this does is damage multiple areas of the brain, which results in symptoms very similar to what’s experienced with idiopathic parkinsonism, except disease progression is much faster.
• Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) – An accumulation of tau proteins is the reason this type of atypical parkinsonism develops. One side of the body is typically affected first before symptoms move to the other side.
Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Columbus homecare services agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. If you need professional Parkinson’s care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (614) 481-8888.