Parkinson’s disease is one of the most devastating and complicated diseases out there today and while there is still not a cure there is a great deal of information on how to deal with this progressive neurological condition. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease not only struggle with movement, endurance and muscular strength, but also with cognitive conditions and dementia as well.
Some of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include trembling, muscle stiffness, slow movements and impaired balance. This can make even the simplest of activities nearly impossible. Individuals with more advanced Parkinson’s disease can also experience symptoms such as problems chewing and swallowing, sleep disruptions and depression.
This makes it difficult for most people living with Parkinson’s disease to live on their own. This is why assisted living communities have become some of the most common solutions for individuals who are struggling with this condition to find a better quality of life during this difficult battle.
Parkinson’s Care Requirements
One of the many reasons why so many people with Parkinson’s disease ultimately live in assisted living communities is because there is so much involved with Parkinson’s disease care. It is not only difficult for many individuals with this condition to live on their own, but it is also difficult for family members to step in and provide care as well.
In addition to help with day-to-day care, most individuals with Parkinson’s disease need a multi-disciplinary care team that can help them manage their own care situation. This can include professionals such as nurses, neurologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, physicians and speech therapists. Due to the progressive nature of this condition and the difficult side effects it comes with, many individuals with Parkinson’s can also benefit from care with a psychiatrist, counselor, therapist or psychologist.
However, at an assisted living community, typically individuals with this condition can benefit from the following services:
- 24 hour supervision and emergency care
- Medication management services
- Personal care and grooming assistance
- Laundry and housekeeping
- Access to recreational activities that can help those with Parkinson’s disease
- In-house access to physical or occupational therapy that can help with certain symptoms
With this in mind, as you look for the right assisted living community for someone with Parkinson’s disease, make sure that you find a community that specifically focuses on Parkinson’s disease and its symptoms.
Assisted Living and Fall Prevention
Choosing an assisted living community for an individual with Parkinson’s disease will not only help make sure that they have around-the-clock supervision, but it can be a major help with fall prevention. Unfortunately, due to the balance and muscular issues that come with Parkinson’s disease, individuals with this disorder are more prone to falling. Assisted living communities with the right staffing can help minimize fall risks. They can also make sure that high-risk areas like the bathroom are safe for individuals who have Parkinson’s disease so they are less likely to fall on a daily basis.
Finding the Right Assisted Living Community for Someone With Parkinson’s Disease
Unfortunately, due to the fact that Parkinson’s disease does progress over time, many individuals with this condition ultimately require some type of assisted living care. It can also make it difficult for seniors to thrive in at-home care situations, unless they have a caregiver in the home on a daily basis. However, not all assisted living communities are created equal.
In addition to finding an assisted living community that has worked with individuals with Parkinson’s disease, it is important to find one that has a few other perks as well. It’s beneficial for individuals with this condition to have social support and to have access to activities that specifically cater to those with Parkinson’s disease. Because it can be physically difficult to complete everyday activities or even get up and move, many people with Parkinson’s disease deal with depression, anxiety and isolation. This is why social engagement is so important.
It is also essential that any assisted living community provide a community where individuals with Parkinson’s disease can “age in place” as their condition progresses. Since this condition does tend to get worse over time, it is typically best if a community can accommodate those with Parkinson’s disease through all stages of their illness, including the advancing and end stages of Parkinson’s disease. This means that individuals with this disease won’t need to move if their symptoms reach a certain level as the familiarity of staying in place can really help individuals as they get use to life with this condition.