How Long Can a Person Live with Parkinson’s Disease?

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More than one million adults living in the United States have Parkinson’s disease. Receiving the diagnosis is often devastating to seniors and their families. However, the disorder isn’t terminal. Advances in knowledge about the disease combined with treatment options enable seniors with Parkinson’s to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.

The Stavanger University Hospital Study

A group of Norwegian researchers were determined to evaluate the life spans of adults living with Parkinson’s. They published their findings in the October 2010 issue of Neurology. The study spanned 12 years and involved 230 adults diagnosed with the disorder. By the end of the study, 211 subjects had died. The life spans of the subjects varied from two to 37 years after their initial diagnoses. The average post-diagnosis life span was 16 years, and the average age at which the individuals died was 81. Upon reviewing the data, the team learned that many factors determine the longevity of seniors with Parkinson’s. 

The scientists discovered that seniors with Parkinson’s who developed dementia were twice as likely to have shortened life spans compared to those who didn’t develop cognitive impairment. They also found that afflicted women survived longer compared to men. Longevity was also affected by whether the disease process progressed to the point of causing limited physical movement. The researchers concluded that receiving an early diagnosis, medications, and treatments increased longevity. Implementing a variety of techniques may increase the life span of seniors with Parkinson’s. 

An in-home caregiver can be a fantastic asset for seniors with Parkinson’s who want to alleviate their symptoms by adopting healthier lifestyles. When considering home care, Pembroke Pines, FL, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

The Mayo Clinic Study

A study performed by researchers from the Mayo Clinic involved evaluating data about 461 seniors with neurological disorders and 452 people without disorders. The group’s findings were published in JAMA Neurology. The study’s results revealed that seniors with Parkinson’s lived one year less than members of the general public. However, their life spans were shortened by four years if they developed Lewy body dementia. The life spans of those who had atrophy in multiple body systems were shortened by six years.

Nutritional Concerns

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen performed a study involving 275 adults with Parkinson’s over the course of 10 years. They learned that in the early stages of the disease, seniors with Parkinson’s often experienced weight loss. Seniors exhibiting the problem also later had an increased risk of needing a caregiver earlier, a higher risk of developing dementia, and a reduced life expectancy. To prevent your loved one from losing weight, make sure he or she consumes more calories without causing unnecessary weight gain. 

Difficulty swallowing and other safety issues in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease can make caring for seniors increasingly challenging. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Pembroke Pines, FL, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Exercise and Mobility

Scientists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that when seniors with Parkinson’s exercised for 50 minutes three times a week, they increased mobility, which enhanced longevity. The exercise proved beneficial whether the seniors were able to walk unassisted or required assistive devices. The team recommended that seniors opt to walk as a means of getting exercise. Exercise maintains lower body strength while enhancing balance and flexibility.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for seniors with Parkinson’s who need help preparing nutritious meals, exercising safely, and completing daily tasks. Families looking for top-rated Pembroke Pines home care service 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. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (954) 374-8273 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.