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Assisted Living for Parkinson’s Patients

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Assisted Living for Parkinson’s Patients

Seniors do not have to stay at home after retirement where they may not get the care they need. There are numerous senior housing options near you that elders can choose from to enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle in their formative later years.

Assisted living is one of the senior living options that the elderly can work with. These are retirement communities that are suitable for retirees who can live on their own to some extent but could still do with a helping hand in various aspects of their daily lives. Here, older adults also get a chance to enjoy multiple amenities and social activities that fill their aging years with joy and happiness.

These facilities also offer limited medical care to ailing residents. Caregivers make sure that aged adults take their medication on time, and see a doctor when need be. Today, older adults who have different types of illnesses and conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, that are not advanced enough to require full-time nursing care have the freedom of choosing a suitable community that offers assisted living services.

Staff members in the communities put in an effort towards managing sickness and making sure that occupants enjoy their stay in a social and supportive environment. Examples of patients who can reside in assisted living are the ones who have Parkinson’s disease. Read on to get more information about assisted living specifically for Parkinson’s patients.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a type of motor system disorder, explains The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Patients who have the illness suffer from never damage which often leads to loss of the brain cells responsible for producing dopamine. Symptoms of the disease usually fall into four categories i.e.

  1. Impaired balance
  2. Trembling
  3. Slow movement
  4. Muscle stiffness

It is common for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease to have trouble talking, walking, or doing activities that require physical movements because of stiff muscles as well as joints. Other symptoms associated with this generally age-related illness include depression, sleep disruptions, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and skin problems.

It is usually challenging to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Currently, there are no tests that people can take to determine if they have the illness. Patients typically go through neurological exams and doctor’s study medical histories to detect if the patient shows signs of the illness. Sadly, there is also no cure for Parkinson’s. Some medications, however, exist to help managing and relieving symptoms to enhance patient’s quality of life.

While taking care of a senior who has Parkinson’s disease may prove to be rewarding and meaningful, it may reach a point when home care is not enough. You may have to consider moving a loved one with Parkinson’s disease to a senior living facility where they will get all the care they need in a timely, friendly, respectful and loving manner.

If the patient with Parkinson’s disease is not self-reliant and at the same time does not qualify for nursing care, they should consider assisted living. Be sure to conduct in-depth research to make sure that the community you choose has what it takes to look after residents who have Parkinson’s.

Why Choose Assisted Living That Offers Specialized Parkinson’s Care?

As previously mentioned, it is crucial that a retiree with Parkinson’s disease retire into an assisted living community specializing in taking care of the patients with Parkinson’s. These communities typically include medication monitoring, meals, personal care assistance, 24-hour emergency care, laundry, housekeeping and recreational activities that can benefit older adults who have Parkinson’s disease. In addition to this, key reasons to choose senior living facilities that specialize in treating Parkinson’s patients include:

Personnel in Assisted Living Facilities for Parkinson’s Patients

Assisted living facilities that specialize in caring for senior citizens with Parkinson’s disease employ staff members who undergo additional training to know how to effectively deal with patients who have the disease. Caregivers here give occupants extra attention than what they offer other inhabitants who do not have Parkinson’s. Taking care of such patients also gives the professionals experience to know how to handle members of the older generation regardless of the condition they are in.

Staff is always looking for swallowing difficulties, communication disabilities, and changes in physical form. If they notice anything is wrong, they come to help so that inhabitants can benefit from immediate medical attention to help relieve symptoms. This ensures that seniors suffering from Parkinson’s disease are comfortable at all times and no changes go unnoticed. Staff members also make sure that they administer drugs at the right time so that they can work as they should.

Parkinson’s Facilities Offer Multidisciplinary Approach to Care

Assisted living retirement communities dealing with Parkinson’s disease care understand that the patients need a different approach to care. A majority feature different interventions to help the aging individuals.

These are put in place to complement medications that the patients are taking, helping them to feel better. Patients usually have access to different medical experts who assist with managing care. Members of the Parkinson’s care team can include:

  • Nursing staff including aides and licensed nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Neurologists
  • Physicians
  • Therapists (Occupational, Physical, and Speech)
  • Counselors, psychologists, or psychiatrists
  • Caregivers

All the professionals work hand in hand to make the lives of the patients a lot easier. Some even plan ahead to anticipate some of the issues or problems that their patients may experience to ensure that they do not affect the elder in a way that they cannot handle.

Increased Accessibility in Parkinson’s Assisted Living

The elderly who have Parkinson’s disease usually require increased accessibility to live a comfortable life. For instance, they could do with more access to social activities and group outings. Assisted living facilities for Parkinson’s patients have activity directors who are responsible for making sure residents have a full calendar of events during their stay. Going out more and doing things that they love helps to lift their spirits as well as strengthen muscles so that they become more independent, cheerful and content.

Ideal Diet in Parkinson’s Assisted Living Facilities

Looking after a Parkinson’s disease patient demands that you monitor their diet critically. Assisted living establishments that offer these services to Parkinson’s patients often work closely with expert nutritionists or dieticians to make sure that the elderly residents eat right at all times. They prepare well-balanced meals that appeal to Parkinson’s patients to enhance appetite because many patients have no desire for food, which can result in weight loss.

Exercise Sessions in Parkinson’s Senior Living Facilities

55+ communities and assisted living facilities that look after aged persons with Parkinson’s disease are well equipped to make sure that residents participate in fun exercises that are good for their health. (APDA) The American Parkinson Disease Association recommends that Parkinson’s patients exercise because it helps to maximize independence and health. Parkinson’s assisted living communities abide by this and make sure exercise routines are part of the residents’ daily lives.

Many Parkinson’s assisted living homes organize walking groups especially for the seniors who are still in the early stages of the disease. Some even have swimming pools where occupants can take part in aquatic exercises as a way of increasing endurance and muscle strength.

Many communities also include low-impact movement classes like seated Tai Chi or dancing. This helps to strengthen weak muscles as well as improve range of motion, balance, and flexibility among Parkinson’s patients. Only professionals lead the exercise sessions, ensuring that everyone benefits irrespective of their conditioning and endurance.

Fall Prevention in Parkinson’s Assisted Retirement Communities

Assisted living residences that specialize in taking care of Parkinson’s disease patients usually put in place the necessary modifications that prevent aging individuals from falling as they go about their daily activities. They design their residences to have open pathways with no obstacles so that inhabitants who use walkers, canes, or wheelchairs can move around with ease. Many communities also include grab bars beside tubs, sinks and toilets so that occupants are safe and do not trip or fall.

Paying for Parkinson’s Disease Care in Assisted Living

While actively searching for a suitable assisted living facility for a patient with Parkinson’s disease, it is essential to make sure that you can afford it. It may not come cheap; thus, one must have savings or other investments to pay out of pocket for the care without draining themselves financially. Senior citizens with Parkinson’s and their families may end up paying about $4,500 or more a month for assisted living, depending on the retirement community.

Older adults who have limited financial resources can benefit from Medicaid to help with expenses for Parkinson’s disease care. Even though this option typically does not cover costs in assisted living, many states provide financial aid to patients who cannot afford it. Eligibility, however, varies in different states. Contact the local department of social or human services to find out if you or a loved one qualifies. Keep in mind that some state programs will only cover specific costs and medical illness. Additionally, not all retirement communities accept Medicaid candidates and Medicare is usually not an option, as it does not take care of assisted living costs.

An alternative solution that may work out well for older adults with Parkinson’s is to have long-term insurance. Parkinson’s patients can use long-term care insurance to cover their senior living expenses in assisted living. Be sure to confirm coverage by carefully going through the contractual information and the fine print.

Finding the Ideal Assisted Living Home for Seniors with Parkinson’s Disease

When searching for an excellent assisted living community near you that provides care for Parkinson’s patients, you or your aged loved one must understand that not all assisted living facilities take care of patients with Parkinson’s disease. You must, therefore, search carefully to identify the facilities that offer the care services that Parkinson’s patients require.

It may not be ideal to contact each and every facility to ask if they take in aged adults with Parkinson’s disease. There are several avenues you can use to accelerate the search to make a more educated decision like:

  • Consulting the local area agency on aging- These are not-for-profit agencies that offer services to retired adults. Contacting the agency can give you valuable information on the best assisted living communities to check out. Most of them help you see through the “commercialism” that is found online when the facilities are advertising their services. This is because the information the agencies provide is not favored towards a specific service provider.
  • Speak to a senior living advisor. The telephone numbers are usually toll-free, and they can help you locate an appropriate assisted living home.
  • Talk to family and friends. Your circle might have some information you could use to help you identify an assisted living residence that suits the needs of an aging individual with Parkinson’s disease. It can be helpful if you are talking to a person who has gone through a similar experience. They are often in a better place to offer guidance and share their experience with specific facilities.

Remember that you will have to visit an assisted living facility that offers Parkinson’s care more than once before deciding that it is the place where you or your senior loved one will spend their golden years. It will help to give you a clear picture of what the facility has to offer.

It would be best if your loved one is not the only resident with Parkinson’s disease at the facility you are considering, as this will mean that the assisted living center does not have too much experience looking after patients with Parkinson’s disease. It helps to have other patients in a similar situation to interact with, share experiences, and help each other through the tough times.

Talk to different people in the assisted living residence including management, caregivers, staff members and residents to get their views on how life in the community is. Try and visit during different times including meal times and when residents are participating in a recreational activity. You will get to see everyone in their element to determine whether the assisted living residence is the right fit for your loved one with Parkinson’s disease.

You might also want to find a facility that is affiliated with the faith of the aging individual who has Parkinson’s disease. It may help to give the patients hope during the difficult times as they intermingle with other retired persons who share the same beliefs. Taking part in religious activities they love may also help to brighten up their days. For instance, if one is a Christian, moving to a Christian assisted living facility allows them to engage in things like singing, praying, and talking to pastors - something that can help to reduce depression and anxiety for one to enjoy their golden years to the fullest.

When you finally locate an assisted living home that is a perfect fit for the Parkinson’s patient, do not forget to carefully go through contracts to make sure that you are comfortable with all the policies. It is the only way to avoid regrets after a few days or months after settling and realizing that the assisted living facility is not what you were anticipating. Parkinson’s disease requires a specialized, dedicated assisted living facility – research thoroughly to find the best facility for your loved one with Parkinson’s.

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