Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. The disease primarily affects people over the age of 60 and is more common in men than women.
Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging for people over the age of 60, as the symptoms of the disease can make daily activities more difficult, and the risk of falls increases.
As people age, they may experience a natural decline in cognitive abilities, making it difficult to distinguish Parkinson’s disease symptoms from age-related changes. This can lead to a delayed diagnosis, making it even more important for seniors to stay informed and alert to the potential symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop gradually over time and can vary from person to person.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system, resulting in a variety of motor and non-motor symptoms.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
Tremors: Tremors are one of the most noticeable symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. They usually begin in the hands and can be most prominent at rest.
Rigidity: Rigidity refers to stiffness or inflexibility of the muscles. It can make movements difficult and uncomfortable.
Bradykinesia: Bradykinesia is a slowness of movement, which can make simple tasks such as getting dressed, writing or eating, take longer than usual.
Postural instability: Postural instability can cause difficulty in maintaining balance, resulting in falls.
Cognitive and mood changes: Parkinson’s disease can also affect cognitive abilities such as memory and concentration, and can also cause mood changes, such as depression and anxiety.
Speech difficulties: Parkinson’s disease can also cause changes in speech, including slurred or soft speech, and difficulty in expressing words.
While the exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is still unknown, researchers believe it’s a combination of age, genetic and environmental factors that cause the dopamine-producing nerve cells to die.
In addition to these, there are several risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing the condition. These risk factors include:
Age: Parkinson’s disease is most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 60.
Genetics: There are some genetic factors that can increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Environmental factors: Exposure to certain environmental toxins, such as pesticides, may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Sex: Parkinson’s disease is more common in men than women.
Head injuries: There is some evidence to suggest that head injuries may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
While there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, there is some research that points to preventative measures that may help in reducing the risk of developing the condition and help manage symptoms once they develop.
Such preventative measures include:
Exercise: Regular exercise can help improve balance, mobility, and overall health, which could help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Low-impact activities, such as swimming, walking, or tai chi, can be excellent options for seniors.
Diet: Eating a healthy and balanced diet, rich in antioxidants, can help protect the brain against damage from environmental toxins.
Brain exercises: Challenging the brain with puzzles, games, and other mental exercises can help maintain cognitive abilities.
Avoiding environmental toxins: Reducing exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides, could help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Getting enough sleep: Getting enough restful sleep is essential for overall health and may help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
In addition to these preventative measures, seniors can also take steps to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can help seniors maintain their independence and manage symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, and speech difficulties. Seniors can also work with their healthcare providers to adjust medications and other treatments as needed.
Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging for those over the age of 60. It is important for seniors to be aware of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and to take steps to reduce their risk.
Seniors may face additional challenges when it comes to exercise and diet, and may also have other health conditions that complicate management.
By working closely with healthcare providers and taking preventative measures, seniors can manage Parkinson’s disease and maintain their quality of life.
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.