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How Does Parkinson’s Affect Life Expectancy?

By Debbie Nunn, 9:00 am on

When seniors are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, one of the first things they often want to know is “How long can I live with Parkinson’s?” Since Parkinson’s tends to get progressively worse over time, it’s perfectly understandable for seniors to fear it may shorten their life spans. However, the effect of Parkinson’s disease on a person’s life span is fairly complicated. Here’s what you need to know about how long a senior can live with Parkinson’s.

What’s the Average Life Span for Seniors with Parkinson’s?

Typically, seniors with Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed in their mid 60s, and the average time from noticeable symptoms appearing to the time of death is 16 years. For people who are diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in their 30s, 40s, or 50s, the amount of time they can live with Parkinson’s before death is much longer. The average age for any person diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is 81, which is a little shorter than the average life span, but only by a few years.

An in-home caregiver can be a fantastic asset for a senior with Parkinson’s. When considering homecare, 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.

How Does Parkinson’s Affect Longevity?

Parkinson’s disease itself isn’t fatal. However, many of the symptoms can cause an increased risk of death. Parkinson’s causes a lot of mobility problems, so one of the most common reasons seniors pass away is due to complications after a fall or other accident. There are also chances a senior can pass away due to choking, depression, or any of the other side effects of Parkinson’s that can potentially be life-threatening. In the later stages, seniors tend to become bedbound, which causes them to have a higher chance of developing blood clots and pneumonia.

Mobility limitations and other safety issues in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease can make caring for aging loved ones 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. Clarksville, TN, 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.

How Quickly Does Parkinson’s Impair Quality of Life?

Usually, a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease doesn’t mean seniors are instantly unable to care for themselves. The disease tends to start out mildly, with slight tremors that can just be a little inconvenient, before progressing to a more severe stage. Seniors can expect to continue normal lives for about three to seven years after diagnosis. They then enter the moderate stage of Parkinson’s for a few years, and by ten years after diagnosis, most seniors with Parkinson’s disease have some sort of symptoms that disable them.

Can Anything Increase Life Expectancy for Seniors with Parkinson’s?

Most types of Parkinson’s disease treatment focus on helping seniors live normally and manage symptoms such as tremors and muscle rigidity. These treatments do a lot to increase life expectancy because they reduce the risk of falling, choking, and experiencing many other symptoms that may cause death. Another important strategy for lengthening life expectancy is making sure seniors have proper care. Having a safe home environment and dedicated caregivers can ensure seniors remain healthy for as long as possible.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for seniors with Parkinson’s who need help with transportation, exercising safely, and completing daily tasks. Families looking for top-rated Clarksville 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. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (931) 218-2781 to learn more about our customized care plans.

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