Although the exact cause of Parkinson’s is unknown, there are certain risk factors associated with the disease. Knowing about these risks can help family caregivers develop plans to stave off the disease and boost their senior loved ones’ wellbeing. Continue reading to learn about some of the top issues that could lead to Parkinson’s in seniors.
Adults are born with certain genes that could cause Parkinson’s to develop well into their senior years. The mutation of these genes is generally the top factor, but it’s rare unless the neurodegenerative disorder runs in your family. Some of the genes that could increase your parent’s risk of Parkinson’s include:
Lewy Body Dementia
Compared to other seniors, older adults living with Lewy body dementia are at higher risk of developing Parkinson’s. The abnormal deposits of protein known as alpha-synuclein can disrupt the production of chemical messengers in the brain, such as acetylcholine. Too little of this neurotransmitter can increase the risk of Parkinson’s, among other health issues.
Seniors who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease can get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with the daily tasks of living. When they’re looking for top-rated home care, San Diego families trust Coast Care Partners. From specialized Alzheimer’s care to live-in and dementia care, there are numerous ways we can make life easier for aging adults and their families.
Falling, getting into an auto accident, or bumping the head on furniture or sharp objects could cause a traumatic brain injury. This type of accident could alter your loved one’s level of consciousness and develop into Parkinson’s, sometimes years after the trauma. To lower your loved one’s risk of a head trauma, encourage him or her to work out and boost his or her bone health. Strengthening the muscles could reduce balance problems and correct poor posture, increasing flexibility. You should also make sure your loved one wears a seat belt when driving or riding in a car with others.
As seniors grow older, their dopamine levels decrease. Dopamine is a chemical messenger in the brain that controls movement. Seniors also lose neurons with age, making them more sensitive to toxins. The more neurons older adults lose, the less dopamine their bodies produce. Aging also causes a decrease in the function of the organelles, which are responsible for removing the damaged neurons out of the body. Lower dopamine levels and a buildup of damaged neurons can lead to the loss of motor skills, which is a common symptom associated with Parkinson’s. Seniors can increase their dopamine levels naturally by:
• Eating less saturated fat
• Getting plenty of rest
• Consuming large amounts of protein
• Staying physically active
Vitamin D Deficiency
Many seniors fail to eat healthy, which is why vitamin deficiencies are common in the aging population, and this is a problem that can increase cognitive impairment as well as infections and poor bone health. Seniors with vitamin D deficiencies could increase their risk of developing Parkinson’s. Vitamin D can protect the brain and central nervous system, staving off neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s. To prevent this disorder and protect your loved one’s overall health, make sure he or she consumes plenty of foods that contain vitamin D in addition to getting sunlight exposure.
Parkinson’s disease can be especially challenging, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for aging loved ones can be difficult for families who don’t have training or expertise in providing home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be managed alone. Family caregivers can rely on Coast Care Partners for the help they need. We provide high-quality Parkinson’s care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s and dementia home care. San Diego families are encouraged to call us at 619-354-2544 today to learn more about our high-quality in-home care services.