Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological condition that affects a person’s mental ability and mobility. Despite the fact that it does affect the body, the disease isn’t fatal. Instead, factors like age, ability to obtain resources and how severe your case is can impact the life of someone with the disease.

So, how do you know if you have Parkinson’s disease? Only a qualified physician can actually diagnose you with the condition. However, there are some gradual signs that do appear, which includes the following:

  • Balance problems
  • Difficulty moving muscles from opposition forces
  • Uncontrolled and spontaneous movements called bradykinesia

When a person is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a physician will take the time to assess what stage a person is in. The later the stage, the greater the health complications are, with a significant reduction in the expected lifespan of a person. There are presently five stages, but the condition isn’t easy to diagnose.

The reason is that Parkinson’s disease is a condition with a clinical diagnosis.  Unfortunately, there are no medical tests for it. Instead, they base the diagnosis over several clinical factors. Since many symptoms are subtle at first, it can take a long time for a person to be diagnosed. This is especially the case with the symptoms that appear to be nothing more than aging.

When a person does reach a stage where diagnosis is possible, they also need to be watched for complications and other concerns. Fatal falls are often one of the most common killers of Parkinson’s patients. This occurs in Stages 4 and 5. This is due to the inability to stand or walk on their own.

Other fatal complications that claim the life of those diagnosed with the condition include:

  • Aspiration
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism

Treatment can help to improve the quality of life of patients significantly. While women will generally live longer than men, both will respond to both occupational therapy and medications. Newer medications can even stop the progression of the disease to the point that a person can continue to enjoy a normal, healthy life. The key is early detection, so the disease doesn’t progress beyond the early stages.

Schedule an appointment today with your doctor if you believe you are suffering from Parkinson’s. Through their clinical diagnosis, they can determine where you are in the process and help you to improve the quality of your life or the person impacted. In fact, a recent study suggests that patients can live as long as 15 – 20 years longer with medication, as long as their condition is diagnosed and treatment is begun in the earlier stages of the disease.

There is always someone to help you with problems that you may be facing with an elderly relative or loved one.  If you have concerns about Parkinson’s disease and you have questions about treatment or help available to you, contact The Small Assisted Living Coalition by clicking here for assistance.