Is Assisted Living an Option for People with Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that can strike in adults as young as 30. Estimates are that nearly 60,000 people are diagnosed with the disease every year. Because people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) are often in the prime of their life, the burden it places on families can be considerable. The caregiving spouse often works outside the home and has young children to care for. Trying to provide assistance to a loved one with PD and juggle all of the family responsibilities alone can be difficult. Families often turn to senior living providers for help.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

PD is caused when the body stops producing the necessary amount of dopamine, the chemical required to keep messages between the brain and the body flowing. These relayed signals are what coordinate smooth muscle movements throughout the body.

When the body fails to produce the dopamine that it needs, the result is problems walking, speech issues, stiff muscles, movement disturbances, and hand tremors. While typically not fatal, these symptoms make self-care difficult for a person with Parkinson’s. Many are forced to rely on loved ones for assistance with even the most basic activities of daily living.

How Assisted Living Can Help People with Parkinson’s Disease

When the family caregiver needs a short-term break, respite care in an assisted living community might be the answer. The loved one with Parkinson’s disease can stay for a week or two so the caregiver has time to rest and renew.

Families who have a loved one living with Parkinson’s disease often find an assisted living community to be a good long-term solution as well. Their family member can maintain their privacy in an apartment or suite while still having caregivers nearby to help attend to personal care needs.

The physical environment of an assisted living community is also a plus for someone with physical impairments caused by Parkinson’s. The overall community design is intended to support independence and safety for adults with a variety of health conditions.

An assisted living community also offers adults with Parkinson’s disease:

  • Assistance with laundry and housekeeping services.
  • Personal care support including help bathing, dressing, and attending to personal hygiene.
  • Healthy, well balanced meals.
  • Medication reminders and assistance.
  • Life enrichment activities and programs designed to meet the unique needs of adults with a variety of different health conditions. Family is also welcome to join in on these activities.

Because Parkinson’s often causes dementia in its final stages, finding a senior living community with staff experienced in working with people with memory loss is important. If the need for a memory care support does occur, the transition can be much easier in an already familiar environment.

If your Michigan loved one has Parkinson’s disease and you would like to learn more about respite care or assisted living, please call the Heritage Senior Community nearest you. Our caregivers will be happy to help answer your questions and make recommendations for managing their care.