Facebook Pixel

What Causes Parkinson’s in Seniors?

By , 9:00 am on

Parkinson’s disease involves changes that cause certain parts of the brain to stop producing dopamine. Over time, these changes can lead to symptoms that inhibit the ability to live a normal life. Muscle stiffness, tremors, and confusion are just a few symptoms seniors with Parkinson’s may experience over time. While you cannot always prevent the condition from developing, it does help to know the causes. Learning about these common causes of Parkinson’s disease can help you determine your aging loved one’s risk factors.

Aging

Seniors can’t avoid getting older, but it does help to be aware of when they should start watching out for Parkinson’s symptoms. Most people with the condition are diagnosed after the age of 50. In the beginning stages, some of the symptoms might be associated with aging. For instance, your loved one might think it’s normal to occasionally have tremors in the hands or weakness in a limb because of a previous injury. However, the condition becomes more prominent as it progresses. If you notice your loved one exhibiting the signs of Parkinson’s, seek a diagnosis to allow him or her to begin treatment as soon as possible.

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 Sonoma County 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.

Genetics

There does seem to be a possible genetic link to Parkinson’s. However, this cause is still being researched to find out exactly why some people who have specific genetic mutations develop Parkinson’s disease while others don’t. Seniors may be more likely to inherit these genetic mutations if they’re of Jewish or African descent. They should also tell their doctors if family members have had the condition, since this could signify a higher risk of carrying the genes associated with Parkinson’s.

Head Trauma

The brain is a delicate organ. While the hard bones of the skull usually provide enough protection, there are times when a major accident or blow to the head can generate some degree of brain trauma. Parkinson’s disease has been linked to repeated head injuries as well as singular instances of major head trauma. The connection between head trauma and Parkinson’s is still being researched, but the current belief is that damage to the parts of the brain that regulate the production of dopamine leads to Parkinson’s symptoms. Your loved one can limit head injuries by using caution throughout the day. Take steps to minimize your loved one’s fall risk, and encourage wearing a helmet during activities such as bicycling.

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 Sonoma County, CA, 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.

Exposure to Toxins

Everything taken into the body affects the brain. Seniors who have worked with heavy metals or pesticides over the years have been shown to have a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. While this shouldn’t cause you to panic, you should discuss it with your loved one’s doctor. 

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he or she can benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated homecare 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 one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (707) 843.4368 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.