In the United States, 50,000-60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s Disease are diagnosed each year, adding to the one million people who have currently been diagnosed. Though what causes the disease remains unknown, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation, aging is a factor. In fact, there is a two to four percent risk for Parkinson’s among people over age 60, compared with one to two percent in the general population.
Early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease gives you the best chance of a longer, healthier life. Symptoms include:
- The loss of certain smells (bananas, dill pickles or licorice)
- Trouble sleeping/sudden movements during sleep
- Shaking or tremors at rest
- Slow movement called bradykinesia
- Stiffness or rigidity of the arms, legs or trunk
- Constipation (if there’s no other reason such as diet or medicine)
- Small, cramped handwriting called micrographia
- Low or muffled speech called hypophonia
- Trouble with balance and falls, also called postural instability. Postural instability usually appears later with disease progression and may not be present with initial diagnosis.
*Note that no single one of these symptoms means that you have Parkinson's disease. If you have more than one symptom, you should make an appointment to talk to your doctor. Parkinson’s disease is a very serious, progressive disease, but people who have it can still lead happy, productive lives.
After a Parkinson's disease diagnosis:
- Work with your doctor to create a plan to stay healthy. This plan might include: A referral to a neurologist; Care from an occupational therapist, physical therapist or speech therapist; Meeting with a medical social worker to talk about how Parkinson's will affect your life.
- Start a regular exercise program to delay further symptoms.
- Talk with family and friends who can provide you with the support you need.
At Trilogy Senior Living Communities, we can help when the effects of Parkinson’s becomes too great. Our therapy team can help you or your loved one manage Parkinson’s disease while our expert, caring staff provides assistance with the tasks of daily life if they become too difficult.
Many Trilogy campuses are certified in LSVT BIG and LOUD, a specialty therapy meant to treat and improve the Parkinson’s experience. You can also check out our campuses that have been named a Campus of Clinical Distinction in Parkinson’s Care. Find a campus offering this special programming, sign up for classes online or simply call the campus.