Things To Know About Assisted Living For Someone With Parkinson’s
Assisted living facilities are not equipped to provide medical care, which your loved one with PD may need. You may be able to hire extra help, or the facility may charge additional for help with dressing or eating.
Doctors who see people at assisted living facilities are contracted, not employees. If you need to talk to them, make an appointment rather than hanging around the facility and asking them questions.
Medications for PD are complex, and as a person ages, they may receive additional prescriptions for other conditions. Its important for medication management to be overseen by a neurologist who is a movement disorders specialist, as they are trained in understanding the different medications for PD and potential interactions with other drugs.4
How Can I Make My Home Easier To Live In
Not all of these recommendations may be right for you. Your occupational therapist or rehabilitation specialist can help determine which of these are best for you.
In your living room and bedrooms:
Place furniture so that you have wide walkways. This will leave you plenty of space to move around.
If you can, make outlets easily available for lamps and appliances. If you need extension cords, make sure they’re secured with tape and out of the way, so you don’t trip on them.
Use chairs with straight backs, armrests, and firm seats. This will make it easier for you to get up and sit down. Firm cushions can add height and make it easier to move.
Look for lamps that you can turn on with a touch or with sound.
If possible, change your phones to ones with larger buttons. It’ll make dialing easier. Have the numbers you call a lot programmed into speed dial.
Install handrails along walls, hallways, and stairwells where there is nothing to hold on to.
If you have trouble getting out of bed, see about having a stationary pole or “trapeze” bar installed. You could also try to sleep in a reclining chair.
In your bathroom:
Use an elevated toilet seat or safety rails to make it easier for you to get up. Don’t use towel racks or bathroom tissue holders to help you stand.
Put extended lever handles on your faucets. That’ll make them easier to turn.
In your kitchen:
Have at least one counter workspace lowered so you can reach it when you’re sitting.
Coping With Cognitive Changes And Parkinsons
Cognitive decline and behavioral changes often occur in the middle and late stages of Parkinsons disease. Caregivers must be particularly understanding and flexible when loved ones begin experiencing changes in memory and thinking. A PD patient may have trouble with planning, problem-solving, multitasking and spatial reasoning, which can make daily activities frustrating, impossible or even dangerous. Its important to encourage independence but remain focused on ensuring their safety.
Changes in a loved ones brain may also affect their ability to communicate. Approximately 89 percent of people diagnosed with Parkinsons disease also have some type of progressive motor speech disorder. A PD patients voice may become softer or hoarser, they may have difficulty finding words, or their speech may become slurred. Working with a speech therapist can help an elder maintain their communication skills and confidence in social settings. Continue to encourage open communication, minimize distractions, and allow more time for responses as well as verbalized requests.
Read:Parkinsons Disease Top Tips: Communicating in Spite of Speech and Voice Disorders
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Renting Out Your Home
If only one parent is still living, or if both parents need assistance with daily living, the family home can be an important resource. Selling is an option, of course. But in many families, mom and dads house is cherished and family members arent ready to make this decision. In this case, consider renting out the house and using the rental income to pay for assisted living. The idea of being a landlord might seem scary, but for a percentage fee you can hire a service to manage the property for you.
A Supportive Community Is Vital
At the end of the day, Evans says the assisted living experience should not be seen as a limiting one, but rather as an opportunity for nuanced care combined with an increased quality of life for someone living with Parkinsons.
A great attribute of an assisted living community for someone with Parkinsons is supporta community that is friendly and loving where other people are suffering with the same diagnosis, says Evans. It can be a beautiful experience.
Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.
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How Do I Know If Home Care Is Possible
The following factors must be considered when determining whether home care will work for you and your loved one:
- The designated caregiver should have few other responsibilities not related to the care recipient .*
- The house must be large enough to comfortably accommodate the needs of the person with Parkinsons, including space for a lift chair, walker, wheelchair, bedside commode or other medical equipment required. Take a home safety tour to ensure your home is easily accessible.
- All rooms should be on one level. The home environment must be safe and supportive of maximum independence. Necessary structural changes, such as ramps, handrails, bathroom alterations, etc. have been made.
- Arrangements can be made to provide medications to the person with PD at required times, as well as meals, assistance with personal care, housekeeping, transportation and companionship.
*If the designated caregiver is someone you hire to provide around-the-clock care, consider the impact of someone else living in your home. Even though you are not responsible for daily cares, having another person in your house might cause stress and make it difficult to relax.
Financial Considerations With Parkinsons Disease
There are a number of financial implications to consider when an individual is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Financial needs related to Parkinson’s disease may include:
- Prescription medications
- Veterans benefits
- Other public programs
Medicare is the main source of health care coverage for most individuals 65 and older. Other common sources of payment include private pay, employer pension plans, and personal savings.
Regardless of the age of the individual with Parkinson’s disease, all healthcare plans meeting these needs should be kept active. It is sometimes possible to supplement an individuals Medicare coverage with Medigap insurance which covers certain gaps in Medicare coverage such as paying for co-insurance or other items.
A long-term care insurance policy usually needs to be in place before a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis occurs in order for long-term care to be covered for the disease. After a Parkinsons disease diagnosis, the policy should be reviewed to determine:
- Eligibility of the person diagnosed
- When the covered individual is able to start collecting benefits
- Date the daily benefit begins
- Whether the benefit is adjusted annually for inflation
- Length of time the benefits will be paid
- Whether there is a maximum lifetime payout
- Type of care covered by the policy
- Whether there is an elimination period before the coverage begins
- Any tax implications of the policy
In addition, Medicaid will pay for hospice care in most states.
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Sidebar: Morris K Udall Centers Of Excellence For Parkinson’s Disease Research
The Morris K. Udall Parkinsons Disease Research Act of 1997 authorized the NIH to greatly accelerate and expand PD research efforts by launching the NINDS Udall Centers of Excellence, a network of research centers that provide a collaborative, interdisciplinary framework for PD research. Udall Center investigators, along with many other researchers funded by the NIH, have made substantial progress in understanding PD, including identifying disease-associated genes investigating the neurobiological mechanisms that contribute to PD, developing and improving PD research models, and discovering and testing potential therapeutic targets for developing novel treatment strategies.
The Udall Centers continue to conduct critical basic, translational, and clinical research on PD including: 1) identifying and characterizing candidate and disease-associated genes, 2) examining neurobiological mechanisms underlying the disease, and 3) developing and testing potential therapies. As part of the program, Udall Center investigators work with local communities of patients and caregivers to identify the challenges of living with PD and to translate scientific discoveries into patient care. The Centers also train the next generation of physicians and scientists who will advance our knowledge of and treatments for PD. See the full list of Udall Centers.
Care And Services Provided In Assisted Living Communities
Many Americans may have lingering negative stereotypes when they hear the term assisted living, bringing to mind drab, impersonal nursing homes that serve as a poor substitute for remaining at home. Luckily, this is far from the current reality, and for seniors living with Parkinsons disease, an assisted living community may be an ideal option.
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Parkinsons Facilities Offer Multidisciplinary Approach To Care
Assisted living retirement communities dealing with Parkinsons disease care understand that the patients need a different approach to care. A majority feature different interventions to help the aging individuals.
These are put in place to complement medications that the patients are taking, helping them to feel better. Patients usually have access to different medical experts who assist with managing care. Members of the Parkinsons care team can include:
- Nursing staff including aides and licensed nurses
- Counselors, psychologists, or psychiatrists
All the professionals work hand in hand to make the lives of the patients a lot easier. Some even plan ahead to anticipate some of the issues or problems that their patients may experience to ensure that they do not affect the elder in a way that they cannot handle.
Sidebar: Ninds Steps Up Pursuit Of Pd Biomarkers
In 2012, the NINDS dramatically accelerated efforts to identify biomarkers by establishing the Parkinsons Disease Biomarkers Program . This unprecedented program unites a range of stakeholders from basic and clinical researchers to healthcare professionals, the NINDS staff, information technology experts, and people living with PD and their families.
PDBP supports research and builds resources aimed at accelerating the discovery of biomarkers to ultimately slow the progression of PD. For example, the program has established a repository of biological specimens and a Data Management Resource system maintained by the NIH Center for Information Technology. The DMR allows researchers to access clinical, imaging, genetic, and biologic data, while a complementary PDBP-supported project develops statistical tools to analyze vast quantities of data so that patterns can be identified across these diverse sources of information.
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Common Situations For People With Parkinsons:
- Heavy people cannot get in/out of bed – lightweight spouse getting up many times a night to roll their spouse over or otherwise help them. UTIs can be common requiring getting out of bed even more often at night.
- Falls are becoming more commonplace and risk of injury increases greatly for the person and spouse . A serious fall/injury can cause a person to leave their home forever.
- People being forced to leave their home and move to expensive extended care facilities because of their bed mobility problems.
- People that no longer can get in/out of bed- some are forced to sleep in a recliner for years- bad for a persons back and bedsore risk increases due to not changing position.
- People leaving their comfortable wide bed thinking their only remaining choice is to sleep alone in an uncomfortable hospital bed the rest of their lives- they now have a choice that never existed before.
- People buying expensive adjustable beds with the expectation that transfer problems will be solved when often the bed does nothing to address the problem- and a soft mattress can make repositioning problems even worse.
- Around the clock caregivers may be needed to help a person at night- or sometimes family members take turns staying over to provide assistance.
- If no nighttime help a person unable to get out of bed risks death in case of fire.
- In cases of little/no leg strength the transfer bar option allows many the ability to safely/independently bed transfer.
Clarendon Parkinsons Residential Care Facility San Fernando Valley Area
When you choose Clarendon, you are choosing compassionate care. Our whole health approach to our residents ensures your loved ones will receive the highest quality of life possible. With a high staff to client ratio and optional one-on-one and night staffing options available you can be certain Clarendon residents are cared for. Beyond basic care, you can expect your family member to have an enriching life here in the beautiful San Fernando Valley in the Woodland Hills and Lake Balboa neighborhoods.
With weekly programs for mind and body to spirit and community at Clarendon, residents have it all. Your loved one doesnt have to sacrifice social events or hobbies when joining one of our homes. Everything from exercise, gardening, music, arts and crafts, to religious services and low-impact dancing is available. Clarendon is a wonderful place to call home.
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Features Of Individual Spaces
- Are different sizes and types of units available?
- Are units for single and double occupancy available?
- Do residents have their own lockable doors?
- Is a 24-hour emergency response system accessible from the unit?
- Are bathrooms private? Do they accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
- Can residents bring their own furnishings? What may they bring?
- Do all units have a telephone and cable television? How is billing handled for these services?
- Is a kitchen area/unit provided with a refrigerator, sink, and cooking element?
- May residents keep food in their units?
- May residents smoke in their units? May they smoke in public areas?
Ensuring Your Loved Ones Parkinsons
Depending on where you live, assisted living options may be numerous and overwhelming or somewhat narrow and restrictive. And finding an assisted living community thats right for someone living with Parkinsons can make the search even more stressful than it already is. But Lehr says that if you know what youre looking for the process doesnt have to make you anxious, because there are several criteria that prospective residents and/or their families should consider when searching for the right assisted living community.
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Proper Cell Hydration Is Fundamental For Your Health
You cant get proper nutrients into your cells
Your mitochondria cant produce the energy you need to heal and function
You cant make digestive enzymes or hormones
You cant repair your DNA
Your neurons are less efficient at sending electrical signals to each other
You cant flush out nasty toxins that contribute to disease and disarray.
As you can imagine, regaining the ability to properly hydrate can have a drastic impact on how you move, think, and feel on a day-to-day basis.
Try implementing these 5 simple strategies to rehydrate and give your energy a boost.
Assisted Living And Parkinsons Disease
Edited by Dr. Kimberly Langdon, M.D., Board Certified Physician
If your loved one recently received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, you have many important decisions ahead of you as a caregiver. One of the most important is choosing the best living arrangement for their health, safety, and well-being. Since this is a degenerative disease with no cure yet, you’ll need a long-term perspective to ensure the level of care meets your loved one’s needs now and in the future. Assisted living is often an ideal setting to care for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, since its effect on motor skills can impair daily living.
Let’s talk about the symptoms of Parkinson’s, how to choose the right setting, when assisted living might be best, and tips for finding the right facility for your loved one.
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Options For Parkinsons Disease Care
These burdens can ultimately lead a family caregiver to explore alternatives for Parkinsons disease care. Eventually, many decide to place their loved ones in long-term care facilities, such as assisted living or a nursing home.
Assisted living residents usually receive help with daily tasks, meal preparation, medication management, and escorts to doctors appointments. A nurse is onsite 24/7 and apartments are equipped with emergency call buttons so residents can summon help when necessary.
However, assisted living facilities generally arent equipped to care for people with severe mobility problems or advanced dementia. As a result, your loved one will likely be transferred to a skilled nursing facility once they reach the advanced stages of Parkinsons disease. Unfortunately, the expense of assisted living could quickly deplete their financial resources, limiting your choice of facilities to Medicaid nursing homes.
Nursing homes have their own issues. Even the best facilities tend to be understaffed, and few can provide the level of one-on-one care most people desire for their loved ones. Residents will be competing with each other for staff members limited attention, and those with advanced Parkinsons disease may not be able to communicate in a way that ensures their needs are met. These same issues may also make Parkinsons disease patients more vulnerable to physical or sexual abuse.
Home Care May Not Be An Option In The Following Circumstances:
- Financial considerations do not permit it . Many people believe that Medicare will pay for in-home care, but there are strict eligibility requirements .
- Family limitations do not permit it
- Caregivers physical and emotional strength is depleted
- Patients condition requires skilled nursing care or round-the-clock attention
- Physical layout of the home is unsuitable
- Individual with PD prefers to live independent of family
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