Effects of Parkinson’s Disease on Emotional Health

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Parkinson’s disease is often categorized as a movement disorder because it causes problems with tremors, stiff muscles, and poor coordination. However, Parkinson’s also has a huge effect on a person’s emotions. Seniors encounter negative emotions partially because it’s so challenging to live with the disease, but there may be some neurological issues that can exacerbate emotional problems. Every senior with Parkinson’s is different, but most encounter at least one of the following emotional effects.

Depression

Nearly every senior with Parkinson’s disease is going to feel sadness occasionally, but depression is far more severe than simple feelings of sadness. Depression is a serious mental condition. It causes intense moods of sadness, anger, or lack of emotion that last for weeks at a time without lifting. People with depression may lose or gain weight, sleep for abnormally long periods, experience insomnia, and have suicidal thoughts. Seniors with Parkinson’s are more likely to have depression than those without the disease because of chemical changes in the brain.

Your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from a professional caregiver who can provide companionship as well as help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated homecare 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.

Stress

There are several challenges associated with Parkinson’s that tend to add to stress. Symptoms such as rigidity and tremors make it difficult to perform daily tasks, so a simple event such as sitting down to eat a meal can be a huge stressor for a senior. Stress can worsen the other emotional effects of Parkinson’s disease, so it’s important to address it instead of ignoring it. It may be necessary for caregivers to take on more daily tasks to help their senior loved ones lower their stress levels. Activities such as meditation, yoga, and exercise can help seniors manage stress in a healthy manner.

Anxiety

It’s normal for a senior with a major medical condition to feel a little nervous every now and then. However, some seniors with Parkinson’s have more severe bouts of anxiety that don’t get better as they become used to living with Parkinson’s. Instead, they may obsess over things, such as the fear of interacting with others, the chance of their condition worsening, or the risk associated with medications. They may experience rapid breathing, sweating, or a racing heartbeat, and some become so anxious they get panic attacks. If anxiety is bad enough that it’s interfering with daily life, it’s time to get help. The right medications or therapeutic interventions can help seniors overcome their anxiety.

For many seniors in Roseville, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

Apathy

Apathy is a sense of hopelessness or profound boredom. Essentially, seniors with Parkinson’s disease may feel like life is purposeless. They may lose interest in past hobbies as well as the motivation to eat, get dressed, and spend time with loved ones. Apathy happens because Parkinson’s lowers the levels of dopamine in the brain. It’s important for caregivers to understand this is beyond their loved ones’ control.

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 Roseville 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. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 916.226.3737 to schedule a free in-home consultation.