Find The Best Options For Assisted Living For Parkinsons Disease
When researching potential options for assisted living, look for a community with a multidisciplinary treatment approach. Living spaces that get patients out of their rooms and moving around can offset the progression. Skilled staff can keep trained eyes on residents and provide quick medical attention. A sense of community will also go a long way to normalize the disease and make your loved ones feel at home.
Know that even in the later stages, theres still potential for a patient to come into a community of encouragement and specialized care and see incredible results.
At Vineyard Bluffton, the professional staff perform assessments on a regular basis as well as watch for any change in conditions to assist in monitoring and making sure that those with Parkinsons Disease get the care that they need.
How To Deal With Parkinsons Diagnosis In Seniors
A senior thought to be a victim of Parkinson’s disease should schedule an early appointment with a certified neurologist to discuss the appropriate care options. The meeting will remove all possible doubts about the existence of Parkinson’s disease. The presence of other conditions that are not Parkinson’s disease may also convey a wrong narration of Parkinson’s disease, when, indeed, it is another entity in play. Such familiar conditions to Parkinson’s disease do exist, and if a misdiagnosis occurs, a loved one might find himself or herself on a wrong treatment plan. Alert your doctor to properly diagnose your elderly loved one if your elderly loved one indicates the following signs or symptoms which may resemble other conditions:
1. Lewy Body Dementia
The round protein structures are around the brain cells, and tend to displace and disrupt functional brain cells. Individuals diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia will exhibit cognitive impairment and hallucinations, in addition to Parkinsonism.
2. Vascular Parkinsonism
The elderly adults with Vascular Parkinsonism may face mobility issues, especially in the arms and legs, as a result of small instances of stroke.
3. Corticobasal Degeneration
Corticobasal degeneration is a condition that is prone to affect a victim’s posture, balance, and speech. Thus, the individual will be moving around at a plodding pace. The progression of such an ailment will cause the limbs of the individual in question to be disabled wholly or severely.
Some Signals Of Parkinsons Disease
Unexplained mood or personality changes Specific declines in motor skill Digestive issues
While the signals of Parkinsons can seem general in nature, there are other aspects to consider. Generally, the disease begins to show symptoms around the ages of 50s-60s. However, onset can begin at an earlier age, as evidence by one of the most famous cases of Parkinsons, Michael J. Fox.
In order to achieve the best results while treating Parkinsons, taking a holistic approach is what sets us apart as a facility providing nursing care to residents with Parkinsons disease. Our dedicated staff takes exactly this approach. While ensuring that a medication schedule is adhered to and helping our residents have a healthy state of mind helps to ensure their care goals are met. Maintaining good nutrition and fluid intake are significant importance when dealing with a disease such as Parkinsons.
Continuing to stay mobile is another key to providing the best care results for Parkinsons. This includes both maintaining as independent a lifestyle as possible but participating in exercises which will help to increase range of motion and mobility.
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Meal Preferences And Requirements
Some people with PD have swallowing problems and require modified diets. You will want to find out if the kitchen can accommodate special diets like a mechanical soft diet.
People with Parkinsons need a healthy, varied diet, and too much protein can interfere with certain PD medications. Talk with the director of food services to ensure that they can accommodate dietary preferences and requirements.
Healthcare Power Of Attorney
A healthcare power of attorney allows an individual to appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions on their behalf if they should become incapacitated and unable to communicate their wishes.
This would include decisions about lifesaving measures such as resuscitation as well as administration of nutrition through an intravenous or feeding tube if the individual becomes unable to eat.
This document also gives the agent the ability to make decisions about providing care staff with do-not-resuscitate instructions for the person with Parkinsons disease as part of the persons end-of-life wishes.
It is important to note that a power of attorney for health care does not allow an agent to make decisions for an individual until they are no longer able to do so for themselves. Therefore, a person with Parkinsons disease remains in control of their healthcare decisions as long as they have the .
As noted above, all POA documents including the healthcare for power of attorney should be written as durable so these documents remain effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
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Other Personal Health Factors
Poor Sleeping Patterns: The seniors with Parkinsons disease will have difficulties sleeping. Such patterns include sleeping at daytime instead of the night time, getting up earlier than usual, and frequently awakening at night. The seniors may also depict a sleep behavior disorder related to rapid eye movement, when their brains activity does not relax even when they are sleeping. Such issues are solvable by the assisted living facilitys caregivers understanding why the elderly adult may be experiencing challenges with sleeping patterns, and helping mitigate those concerns.
Bladder Problems: The seniors will find it difficult to urinate or to be able to hold urine. The assisted living facilitys caregivers will support with incontinence and bladder challenges and constipation.
Constipation: The elderly suffering from Parkinsons disease will have a slower digestive tract, leading to the development of constipation cases.
Changes in Blood Pressure: The seniors will experience some levels of dizziness or lightheadedness when standing poise. A blood pressure drop may lead to orthostatic hypotension. The assisted living homes caregivers will continuously monitor the elderlys blood pressure and will alert the seniors doctor if there are concerning blood pressure results.
Sexual Dysfunction: The seniors affected by the disease will have little or no desire for sexual encounters. As such, they must receive the proper health care to support with sexual dysfunction.
Parkinsons Symptoms In Elderly Adults
As Parkinsons disease is unpredictable and affects each person uniquely, each senior citizen member of society will experience different and unique symptoms. Thus, it is easy for the early signs of Parkinsons to go unnoticed due to their mild nature. The symptoms may initially also only affect the left or right side of the body. The symptoms tend to worsen with time, and slowly victimize the unaffected parts and side of the body.
Please contact your healthcare professional if you observe any of the following changes with your elderly loved ones health status:
Writing Changes: A simple task, like signing a document or even writing the date in their diary, will feel like an extreme fitness challenge. The loss of mobility and flexibility with hand movements is a considerable derailment that will contribute to smaller handwriting, than usual. Assisted living facilities that care for Parkinsons patients will provide support to your elderly loved one with signing documents, guiding their hands and helping them write, or writing for them as dictated.
Speech Changes: The varying speech effects may include hesitation before talking, slur of language, or soft-speach when trying to address others. The elderly adults speech presentation will lack the usual speech inflections and will present itself as a monotone.
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Ability To Transition To More Comprehensive Care
Another consideration is when the need for care intensifies and needs to become more comprehensive and your loved one moves from assisted living into a skilled nursing environment, would you have to find an entirely new facility for this additional care or can you move them within the organization.
As Bethesda offers skilled nursing, the transition to a more supervised level of service is available. Our assisted living residents always have priority access to the higher levels of care, adds Lea Ann.
If you are considering an assisted living community for yourself or a senior loved one, schedule a tour at Bethesda Hawthorne Place or Charless Village. Our unique living options are available for all senior residents, ensuring that you receive the right level of care at the right time.
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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Is Assisted Living Community The Right Choice For Someone With Parkinson’s Disease
When it comes to a loved one with Parkinson’s disease, it is important to ascertain the essential services available at an assisted living facility. While there are always going to be exceptions when comparing facilities, here is a list of the services you should expect:
- Assistance with day-to-day activities such as dressing, grooming, bathing, and getting in and out of bed
- Help using the bathroom
- Support with medication administration & reminders
- Prepared meals in a group dining setting
- Social activities
- Housekeeping & laundry
Caring For Someone With Parkinsons Disease
Caring for someone with Parkinsons disease will change as the condition progresses.Your loved one is likely to cope well on their own during the early stages, and may only require transportation to doctors appointments, social engagements, and shopping trips. But their dependence will inevitably grow, and at some point, they may need your help with daily personal tasks, medication management, making financial decisions, and advocating with healthcare providers on their behalf.
Parkinsons disease places a significant burden on family caregivers, and they tend to suffer from higher rates of anxiety, depression, and sleep-related problems. These issues are even more common when Parkinsons disease causes a loved one to experience dementia, hallucinations, and other cognitive issues.
Caring for someone with Parkinsons disease can also result in social isolation, especially once the disorder reaches advanced stages. In some cases, caregivers reported that their increasing responsibilities led to tension with a spouse or partner. They were also more likely to report financial strain, especially if they reduced work hours or left their jobs entirely because of caregiving obligations.
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Difficulties With Activities Of Daily Living
ADLs refer to basic personal care tasks including bathing, dressing, eating, mobilizing, and toileting.
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease may have problems with mobilizing, freezing in place, bathing, grooming, toileting, dressing, eating, driving, travelling, as well as safety at home. A person has more difficulty performing these ADLs as the disease progresses due to increased muscle and cognitive impairment.
It can be hard to for individuals to adjust to these changes but there are ways to provide support and to promote as much independence and quality of life as possible.
Stages Of Parkinson’s Disease
Not every individual with Parkinson’s will experience all the symptoms, and if they do, it won’t be in the same order or intensity. However, there are typical patterns of progression in Parkinson’s disease, which are defined in stages. Doctors use two scales to help them understand the disease’s progression. Hoehn and Yahr stages are used to describe motor symptoms, while the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating System is more comprehensive and accounts for mental functioning, mood, and social interaction. Here is a summary adapted from the Parkinson’s Foundation:
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Ideal Diet In Parkinsons Assisted Living Facilities
Looking after a Parkinsons disease patient demands that you monitor their diet critically. Assisted living establishments that offer these services to Parkinsons patients often work closely with expert nutritionists or dieticians to make sure that the elderly residents eat right at all times. They prepare well-balanced meals that appeal to Parkinsons patients to enhance appetite because many patients have no desire for food, which can result in weight loss.
Fall Prevention In Parkinsons Assisted Retirement Communities
Assisted living residences that specialize in taking care of Parkinsons disease patients usually put in place the necessary modifications that prevent aging individuals from falling as they go about their daily activities. They design their residences to have open pathways with no obstacles so that inhabitants who use walkers, canes, or wheelchairs can move around with ease. Many communities also include grab bars beside tubs, sinks and toilets so that occupants are safe and do not trip or fall.
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The Benefits Of Assisted Living Care For Parkinsons
Because Parkinsons is a progressive and degenerative disease, your loved one can quickly become confined and restricted in a home environment. However, in assisted living, under the care of a staff trained to aid those with Parkinsons, plus living spaces designed with wider doorways, hallways with handrails, etc., your loved one can experience more freedom, increased safety, greater socialization, and as a result, a higher quality of life.
In the right assisted living setting, such as those which are part of every RCM senior community, your loved one can flourish as they get the care and support they need, now and in the future.
Your loved one will enjoy:
A full, enriching lifestyle. When your loved one moves to an assisted living facility within a senior living community like RCM, they can enjoy the same opportunities as independent living residents. That includes chef-prepared meals, house cleaning, weekly linen service, a full slate of activities, special groups dedicated to helping Parkinsons families, complimentary scheduled transportation to medical appointments, and more. In this environment, no one feels isolated.
When Is Assisted Living A Good Option For Someone With Parkinsons
The decision to help a loved one transition into an assisted living community is never an easy one, but for those caring for a loved one with Parkinsons disease, the choice can be even harder and more perplexing.
The key is understanding when someone with Parkinsons is no longer thriving in their own home. Thats when assisted living becomes an option, says Lehr. And when I say not thriving I mean your loved one is having difficulty caring for themselves or is increasingly at risk for injury. Thats the time to start making new plans.
Before that happens, however, Lehr says its important to understand the general symptomatic progression of Parkinsons disease and pay close attention to how those symptoms affect your loved one in particular .
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How Can I Know What Services I Need
If you have Parkinson’s disease, talk with your family and caregivers about what services you need. Take time to consider what services are important to you before you visit assisted living communities. This step will help ease your transition. Think about these questions:
- Why do I want/need to change my living arrangements?
- What daily activities do I need help with ?
- How often do I need help?
Assisted Living Or A Nursing Home
The immense popularity of assisted living facilities has arisen, partly, out of the promise to never to put a loved one in a nursing home. But assisted living wont work for everyone. Some need the greater supervision and higher staff ratios of a good nursing home. This article, from The New Old Age blog, explains the differences between the two and why assisted living may only be a temporary solution.
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Secure Surroundings And Memory Support
Find out if the community has a secure neighborhood. Hallucinations and delusions are a side effect of some Parkinsons medications.
Loss of memory can also be a symptom in later stages. Bethesda Hawthorne Place has a secure memory support living option that can provide increased security for those who are experiencing such challenges.
When To Make The Initial Move To Assisted Care
A common reason to move a PD patient to assisted care is the overwhelming strain it can put on their loved ones. Caregiver burnout is very prevalent and difficult for those taking care of PD patients. Its a physically taxing and mentally draining job. Recurrent falls occur among 39 percent of PD patients, with an average of 20 falls per year, according to recent studies. Because of this, caregivers are often afraid of having patients move around too much, which is the opposite of the therapy they need.
Assisted care communities employ educated and trained staff. Their care plans include awareness and interventions of potential fall hazards.
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Community Age And Condition
It is important to know what services are offered so your senior will either feel at home or live with his or her peers. Each facility has a minimum age requirement for acceptance.
If you’re a senior or family needing care is too young or too old among the other facility residents, it may cause more damage or problem rather than help. If your family member wants to simply find companions to live a happier life, then maybe you shouldnt put them in a facility with rehab or long-term medical care residents.