6 Major Causes of Parkinson’s Disease in Seniors

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Parkinson’s is a progressive disease that’s more commonly diagnosed in individuals over the age of 60. Family caregivers need to encourage their senior loved ones to lead healthy lifestyles to lower the risk of the neurodegenerative disorder. Below are some of the top causes of Parkinson’s in older adults and steps your aging loved one can take to stave off the condition and maintain a high quality of life.

1. Genetics

Although not all seniors who carry the Parkinson’s genes develop the disease, genetic mutations can increase the risk. Take your parent to the doctor and find out if he or she has any of the genetic markers associated with Parkinson’s, such as SNCA and GBA. Your loved one should also learn more about his or her family’s medical history to determine if any close relatives were diagnosed with the condition and how it affected their daily lives.

2. Inflammation

When seniors live sedentary lifestyles, have high anxiety levels, and eat poorly, their risk of inflammation increases. The abnormal accumulation of alpha-synuclein triggers the body’s inflammatory responses and raises the risk of Parkinson’s. To boost his or her overall health, your loved one needs to stay active and follow a healthy diet that can reduce inflammation in the gut and the brain. 

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he or she may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

3. Head Trauma

If your loved one experiences a head injury and loses consciousness, he or she is more likely to develop Parkinson’s at a later time. Help your loved one increase his or her balance and flexibility and preserve his or her vision, which can prevent slips and falls that lead to head traumas and periods of unconsciousness. You can start by keeping your loved one physically and socially active and mentally stimulated.

4. Vitamin Deficiency

By consuming the nutrients he or she needs, your loved one could prevent weakened bones and cognitive impairment problems associated with Parkinson’s. If your loved one fails to get enough phosphorus and calcium, his or her body may not function properly. Your loved one also needs to make sure to get plenty of vitamin D, which plays a significant role in the body’s ability to absorb calcium and phosphorus. The most common sources of vitamin D are sunlight, fortified dairy products, and fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon. 

Seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can live at home, but they will likely need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. For many seniors in Colorado Springs, CO, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

5. Aging

Aging makes adults more susceptible to cellular damage that puts them at a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Seniors cannot stop the aging process. However, there are lifestyle changes they can make to lower the risk of this condition and other chronic diseases. For example, following a healthy diet, managing stress, and staying physically active could benefit your loved one by preventing his or her genes from changing at a rapid rate. As a result, this could reduce the risk of cellular problems that lead to Parkinson’s disease.

6. Farming Chemicals

Exposure to the various chemicals farmers use to preserve their land and crops could disrupt your parent’s cells. This type of cell damage is often similar to the mutations known to cause Parkinson’s. Some of these toxins include fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides. However, consuming organic foods and beverages could prevent your loved one from consuming harmful chemicals that are typically tied to farming.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Colorado Springs Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (719) 822-1229 today.