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Living with Parkinson’s: What Seniors Need to Know

Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) can be difficult to process. The disease is a degenerative nerve disorder which means it’s only going to get worse with time. Unfortunately, there currently is no cure. That doesn’t mean you should give up. On the contrary, you can still fight this. There are ways to treat the symptoms and slow the disease’s progression. If you’ve been diagnosed, here are some things you need to know.

Lifestyle Changes

There are several changes you can do to modify your lifestyle in order to stay on top of things. First, make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep puts unnecessary stress on your body which is going to cause the disease to progress faster. You should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Additional sleep during the day may be necessary.

PD can cause muscle stiffness, and tremors which causes many people to think they should stop exercising. In fact, proper low-impact exercising can help you maintain your mobility as the disease progresses. Because of PD’s effects on your mobility, you may need to make modifications to your home. You’ll want to limit the need to go up and down stairs, remove any tripping hazards and improve the lighting. You should also consider installing handrails to help you move around safely.

Treatments

As mentioned previously, PD has no cure. But there are many treatment options available that can mitigate its effects. One of the most significant effects of PD is a decrease in dopamine in the brain. There are many drugs that can be used to stimulate an increase in dopamine production. Over time however, these can have diminishing returns. Recently there has been a lot of excitement regarding a natural supplement, CBD. CBD has a number of benefits that are only now starting to be fully understood. Some research suggests that it can help reduce anxiety and tremors associated with the effects of PD.

Disability Benefits

Although treatments can help reduce the effects for a time, eventually PD will begin to hamper the abilities of most individuals. As such, you might be concerned about your ability to continue working. Fortunately, you may qualify for disability benefits. If you work for a company that offers disability insurance or if you have a private policy, then you could qualify for compensation. If you don’t have any insurance, then you may be able to get benefits through the government.

Parkinson’s disease is going to have a large impact on your life. But it doesn’t have to stop you from living. You can still enjoy your life. Be sure that you are communicating regularly with your doctor and following their instructions. By caring for yourself, you will give your body a fighting chance at resisting this disease for as long as possible.

Living with any medical condition can be challenging, but luckily there are lots of resources out there that can help you to cope. Check out our list of health resources here!

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