5 Ways to Protect Your Elderly from Parkinson's Disease


5 Ways to Protect Your Elderly from Parkinson's Disease

Greying hair, wrinkles, weakness, irritations, loneliness…

Getting aged comes with more than just these common side effects! Most of the time, if not always, the problems do not even have a permanent solution! One such condition where old age takes a toll on an individual's body is the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Be careful if you experience tremors, rigid muscles, speech changes, and lack of facial expressions of the elderly in your family– these are some common causes of Parkinson’s disease. Stop assuming these as signs of weakness and ageing. These visible symptoms may lead the elders in your family to Parkinson's disease. 

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system defect affecting an individual's bodily movements. In Parkinson's disease, the dopamine-producing neuron in the Substantia Nigra (a part of the midbrain) gets involved. Simply put, Parkinson's disease disables the nerve cells to produce dopamine (a neurotransmitter) that helps the signals reach from one cell to another. 

Types of Parkinson’s Disease

The types of Parkinson’s disease with distinct characteristics are-

  • Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease: This type is the most prevalent type of Parkinson’s disease as most cases are found to be idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Idiopathic denotes any health condition that arises suddenly, and the cause is unknown. It usually occurs in people after the age of 60 and progresses gradually. 
  • Vascular Parkinsonism:  This condition is caused by cerebrovascular disease and is usually described as lower-body parkinsonism with the conditions like gait unsteadiness and no tremors and is also connected with pyramidal signs. This condition starts from the blood vessels in the part of the brain that controls motor skills. Stroke or multiple strokes could be a common reason for this condition leading to disruption of blood flow to the depth of the brain.
  • Drug-induced Parkinsonism: It is the most common type of Parkinsonism that is caused due to side effects of various medications. Although symptoms like instability and tremors may not be that severe, they will still be diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. Once you stop the medication that caused the side effects, you will notice the symptoms disappearing over time.

What are the Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease?

symptoms of parkinsons disease

Initially, Parkinson disease's symptoms are trivial and can be marked when all or 2 to 3 symptoms mentioned below are visible:

  • Tremors (generally starts from one limb), 
  • Rigid muscles, 
  • Slow movement (bradykinesia), 
  • Speech abnormalities, 
  • Impaired posture, and 
  • Imbalance etc. 

However, there is no specific diagnosis for Parkinson's; one should always pay close attention to the symptoms above and see a doctor if the symptoms persist due to the different stages of Parkinson’s disease. 

What are the Medications for Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease is a defect of the nervous system, and thus it is incurable. However, proper medications, exercise, and preventive measures may help control the symptoms. 

Medications for Parkinson's disease may help you to manage the problems related to posture, balance and tremors by enhancing or substituting dopamine production. Your doctor may provide some of the following medications depending on the medical needs of the diseased patient-

  • Dopamine agonists 
  • MAO B inhibitors
  • Carbidopa- levodopa
  • Inhaled carbidopa-levodopa
  • Carbidopa-levodopa infusion

Note: The medications mentioned above are just for reference purposes, and we advise everyone to take the medicines after consultations with an expert doctor.

How to Prevent Parkinson's Disease?

Prevention is always better than cure! Prevention is even more critical when there is no scientific cure! Hence, here are five ways by the help of which you can prevent your ageing parents/ grandparents from getting affected by Parkinson's disease.

Give the Elderly a Healthy Diet 

However; there's no specific diet for the cure. A balanced diet can help the elderly ease the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Hence, we highly recommend you induce highly fibrous food items while preparing the diet list for the elderly. 

Make Yoga and Meditation a Habit

Some common complications in people who have Parkinson's disease are dementia and depression. To ensure that these problems do not go to the next level, it is important to help the elderly develop a habit of doing yoga and meditation regularly.

Doing yoga for at least an hour or so can go, in the long run, in preventing someone from being adversely affected by the disease. As it affects the body posture, with the help of yoga, one can retain the posture. 

Alexander Technique to Keep Parkinson's at Bay!

Alexander's technique is quite popular in  treatment for Parkinson's disease. In the sessions on Alexander's techniques, experts educate you on how to enhance posture and movements.

Learning Alexander's technique will help your loved ones be mindful of their posture and help them prevent being in improper postures for extended periods.

Remain Active with Pet Therapy 

To prevent Parkinson's disease, the first and foremost key is remaining flexible. If your parents/ grandparents are adamant about not doing exercise, gift them a pet. Having a furry friend beside them will make them play and remain flexible. 

Heal with the Massage Therapy 

Body and joint pain may be a common complaint that one may encounter in old age. However, the pain may be the cause of more than just old age, which is common in the case of Parkinson's disease. Having said that, a soothing massage session can do wonders in getting relief from that unwanted pain. 

Summing Up

While the tips mentioned earlier can help you prevent critical Parkinson's disease in the elderly, the Critical Illness Insurance Policy by Care Health Insurance can help you remain financially covered for all the expenses that may come your way while treating the disease. 

The Care Super Mediclaim Insurance covers you for 32 critical illnesses, including Parkinson's disease. We believe it's the care and attention that your loved ones need while fighting such an illness. So buy Care's Mediclaim policy today, and don't let anything hinder the care you can provide to your family. 

>> Also Read: Things That are not covered under Medical Insurance

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter’s discretion.

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