Does Parkinson’s Change a Senior’s Personality?

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Can an Older Adult's Personality Be Affected by Parkinson in Carmichael, CA

Parkinson’s disease is a relatively common neurological disorder that can impact many different aspects of an individual’s health, from fine motor skills to digestion. Some people are surprised to hear this unique disease can also affect personality, and your aging loved one could go through some major behavioral changes in the coming years. Here’s a quick look at how Parkinson’s can affect a senior’s personality and some steps you can take to combat those issues.

Impact on the Brain

Over the last few decades, doctors have done an incredible amount of research on Parkinson’s, and they now know quite a bit about what this disease does to the brain. As the disease progresses, neurons die off, which can result in a variety of symptoms. Most people associate Parkinson’s disease with tremors, but many seniors who have the disease eventually develop neurological issues as well. As the brain becomes more damaged, you might begin to notice symptoms such as memory loss, compulsive behaviors, paranoia, and hallucinations.

At some point, your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated in-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.

Anxiety & Depression

Whenever seniors have any type of neurological disorder, they have a high risk of developing anxiety and depression as well. Brain damage can impact their outlook on life, and they might also become worried about the future.

To treat anxiety and depression in seniors with Parkinson’s, doctors may suggest a few different treatment options, which often begin with some type of personalized counseling or therapy. Simply speaking with a mental health specialist can greatly boost quality of life. Some doctors may also suggest the use of antidepressant medications that balance the chemicals the brain produces and regulates.

Personality Changes

Many family members and caregivers report their loved ones who have Parkinson’s undergo major personality changes. Initially, you might begin to notice your loved one is no longer as friendly or affectionate. As time goes on and the disease progresses, those personality changes often become much more visible.

There could come a time when your loved one is very difficult to handle because he or she is stubborn and aggressive. Some seniors with Parkinson’s also become extremely introverted and refuse to leave their homes. As with anxiety and depression, these personality changes are often treated with a mixture of therapy and prescription medications.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to handle, 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 Fair Oaks 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.

Compulsive Behaviors

As soon as you notice your loved one engaging in any impulsive or compulsive behaviors, immediately contact a psychiatrist to explore your treatment options. There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s, but these behaviors can often be mitigated as long as treatment is sought right away. Some of the symptoms you should keep an eye out for include excessive gambling, hoarding, binge eating, and heavy drinking. A psychiatrist can help you come up with a long-term plan for addressing these potentially damaging behaviors.

Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they’ll most likely need assistance from family members or other caregivers to do so safely. For many seniors in Fair Oaks, CA, 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. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (916) 485-4663 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.


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