Advances in the field of medicine have made it possible for adults to live with cerebral palsy well into their senior years. However, these seniors often encounter new challenges as they age. Caregivers should be aware of the common concerns for seniors living with cerebral palsy so they can use the right strategies to keep their loved one in the best of health.
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1. Increased Pain
Seniors with cerebral palsy are at an increased risk for developing early-onset arthritis. They are also more likely to develop pain in the areas of their body that incur the most stress such as the back and hip. The pain will affect a senior’s quality of life and caregivers should make an effort to minimize it through exercise and strategies that prevent injuries.
2. Limited Mobility
It can be upsetting for older adults who were able to walk all their lives to suddenly discover they have limited mobility because of cerebral palsy. Help your loved one maintain mobility by encouraging him or her to continue walking for as long as possible and address pain before it becomes so severe that it interferes with mobility.
Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional in-home senior care Colorado Springs seniors can trust and rely on.
3. Fall-Related Injuries
Decreased motor functions increase the risk of falling. Make sure your loved one has a safe walking path through his or her living area. If necessary, encourage your loved one to use mobility aids such as walkers to increase balance. Make sure you or another caregiver is always available to help with tasks such as getting something off a high shelf, which might tempt your loved one to engage in risky behavior such as climbing on a chair.
4. Lack of Preventative Care
Older adults with cerebral palsy sometimes face barriers to routine medical care that safeguards their health. For instance, some seniors with cerebral palsy skip recommended testing such as mammograms because they lack transportation to their appointments or need assistance when they are out of the house. Make sure your loved one has transportation arrangements in place, and appoint a caregiver who can accompany him or her to appointments. This way, a minor issue can be detected and treated before it causes further problems.
5. Increased Risk for Choking
Motor impairment caused by cerebral palsy can also affect a senior’s ability to chew and swallow. This can be compounded by dental problems, which are more common in seniors who are unable to remain immobile during dental visits. Therefore, it is important for seniors and their caregivers to make sure food is cut up into small, bite-sized pieces so seniors do not choke or end up malnourished.
The symptoms of cerebral palsy can be exacerbated by the existence of an age-related disease such as Alzheimer’s. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Colorado Springs families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s home care needs. Call (719) 822-1229 to speak to a qualified Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.