Understanding Parkinson’s Disease and Dealing with It – Financeforhealth.com

Michael J. Fox, Johnny Cash, and more recently, Muhammed Ali—these are some of the famous faces claimed by Parkinson’s disease. We have all heard about it; the neurodegenerative brain disorder that slowly takes a person’s ability to regulate body movements and emotions.

While most of us watched these famous people live with the disease through the TV and computer screens, there are those who have had front row seats to the disease changing their family member’s life.

 

Parkinson’s disease can take a toll on you and your family physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. While long term care insurances can greatly alleviate the physical and financial burden, the emotional and psychological load is a bit more difficult to deal with. From the patient to the people closest to him or her, Parkinson’s disease can alter lives.

Early Detection

Similar to many diseases, early detection of Parkinson’s disease can greatly help in dealing with it. To help spot the disease, the National Parkinson Foundation has created a checklist to guide individuals and family members:

  1. Tremor or Shaking. Slight twitching of body parts even when relaxed.
  2. Sudden Change in Handwriting. Letter sizes may have become smaller and crowded.
  3. Weakening Sense of Smell. Unlike the temporary change in the sense of smell when a person has a cold, flu, or a runny nose, the loss of smell from Parkinson’s does not come back.
  4. Thrashing Around in Bed. Sudden movements during sleep that are more than just tossing and turning in bed.
  5. Stiff Limbs. Stiffness brought by Parkinson’s does not go away as easily as normal stiffness. Moving and walking become challenging.
  6. Difficulty in moving bowels every day.
  7. Change in Voice. Speaking in a hoarse or softer voice can indicate that an individual has Parkinson’s.
  8. Face becomes more serious-looking. The person seemingly sports a depressed or mad look even though he or she is not in a bad mood. Blinking happens less as well.
  9. Dizziness or Fainting. Both are symptoms of low blood pressure that could be related to Parkinson’s.
  10. Change in Posture. The person might suddenly seem hunched over when he or she stands.

 

Care After the Diagnosis

As there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease yet, doctors will be working to treat the symptoms after the diagnosis instead.

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, individuals with the disease often want to stay independent for as long as they can. In the early stages, this is possible on a good day and with the right kind of medication. Family members just need to keep close attention and be ready to provide the support that might be needed.

As the disease progresses, however, specialized care might be needed. The ability to complete the activities of daily living is impaired. When this happens, families often look to long term care insurance policies to help fund the best care that their loved one might need. Additionally, family members are kept from suffering the physical, emotional, and financial strain that might come with caring for a person with Parkinson’s disease. Through this, the patient is saved from the unnecessary stress from worrying about being a burden to his or her family members.

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