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6 Ways Parkinson’s Can Affect Emotional Health

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In addition to compromising motor skills, Parkinson’s can also affect emotional health and stability. This disease impacts the production of important chemicals in the brain, often leading to a wide variety of behavioral and psychological problems. Here’s a closer look at six of the most common emotional effects of Parkinson’s and some steps that can be taken to combat these issues. 

1. Depression

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can greatly increase the risk of depression. One recent study published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences revealed that just over 36 percent of all people with Parkinson’s will develop clinical depression at some point. To treat this condition, seniors should meet with experienced certified therapists or counselors. These mental health professionals can come up with long-term treatment plans for depression.

2. Social Isolation

There are a few different reasons so many people who have Parkinson’s withdraw from the world. Depression is a major risk factor for social isolation, but self-consciousness can play a role as well. As motor skills deteriorate, seniors might be wary of eating out in public or spending time with friends. Luckily, many of the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s can be partially mitigated with proper medication and physical therapy. 

Your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from a professional caregiver, who can provide compassionate companionship as well as 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.

3. Impulsive Behavior

When an individual has Parkinson’s, the area of the brain responsible for producing and regulating dopamine becomes damaged. Over time, this can lead to impulsive or destructive behavior. Seniors who used to be reasonable and well-adjusted might turn to binge eating, substance abuse, addictive gambling, or hypersexuality. To curb those behaviors, most experts suggest seniors with Parkinson’s take prescription dopamine promoters. 

4. Aggressive Behavior

In addition to exhibiting impulsive behavior, seniors with Parkinson’s can also become very aggressive. This symptom usually occurs in the later stages of Parkinson’s, and seniors most likely need professional assistance at that point. Treating aggression generally requires a mixture of prescription medications, therapy, and healthy lifestyle habits. Many older adults with Parkinson’s also benefit from being in soothing environments that aren’t hectic or noisy. 

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. Henderson, NV, 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.

5. Psychosis

Psychosis isn’t extremely common among seniors with Parkinson’s, and it’s usually associated with a poor quality of life or ineffective care. As the disease progresses, some seniors might experience auditory or visual hallucinations. Others might have vivid dreams that are nearly impossible to differentiate from reality. Treating psychosis is a complicated process, and there isn’t a single treatment or therapy that works for everyone. 

6. Paranoia

This symptom usually appears when the disease has damaged the areas of the brain responsible for critical thinking and memory. Instead of trying to argue with your loved one when he or she is being paranoid or accusatory, listen to what he or she has to say. In many cases, your loved one will calm down if he or she feels like someone is genuinely listening.

Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging, and both seniors 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 Henderson 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. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (702) 527-7723 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.