Scientists continue to study the causes of Parkinson’s disease, but the growing consensus is that there are likely multiple factors that affect who develops the condition. While some causes may not be preventable, there are others you can start to do something about right now. Learning about the five major causes of Parkinson’s in older adults can help you begin to understand why some people develop the disease.
1. Getting Older
One notable factor is indisputable: the majority of people with Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed when they’re 50 or older. However, there’s a certain type of early-onset Parkinson’s disease that affects younger people. For seniors, the belief is that brain-related changes that happen with aging could lead to the development of Parkinson’s symptoms. Taking care of general health can preserve critical neural pathways in the brain that regulate the body’s functioning and movements.
Early diagnosis is critical because Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging in its final stages, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. 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 Tucson 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.
2. Genetic Mutations
Heredity also plays a role in who gets Parkinson’s. Researchers are still working on figuring out exactly which genetic mutations affect a person’s chances of getting the condition, but they’ve found a genetic mutation that tends to affect people of North African and Jewish descent most often. However, some people with Parkinson’s don’t have any recognizable genetic markers. While it’s good for seniors to know if they come from backgrounds that increase their risk, it’s not necessary to seek genetic testing, since this won’t let seniors know if they’ll definitely develop the condition later in life.
3. Major Head Injuries
Head injuries are another possible cause for the development of Parkinson’s. After a head injury, lesions can develop in the brain. These lesions don’t always heal, and they could contribute to the development of plaques in the brain that affect functioning. Seniors can often prevent head injuries by taking care of their health and asking for help with tasks with increased risks of falling.
Seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can live at home, but most need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. For many seniors in Tucson, AZ, 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.
4. Other Health Conditions
Health issues that affect brain functioning are another factor seniors can take steps to correct. For instance, people with diabetes may need to stay on top of their treatment plans to make sure their brains receive proper blood flow, and seniors with Alzheimer’s disease may need to eat brain-healthy diets to stave off neural degeneration in their brains.
5. Exposure to Toxins
Toxins can have many different effects on the body, and most seniors have been exposed to a variety of them by the time they reach their golden years. For instance, your loved one might have used pesticides at work or in a garden. While your loved one cannot change the past, he or she can take steps to minimize exposure to toxins now. Even small changes, such as washing fruits and vegetables well, can limit the toxins that enter the body.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he or she can benefit greatly from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated at-home 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. Call us today at (520) 276-6555 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.