Support and Resources for Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement (Mayo Clinic). Treatments are available to help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder, falling just after Alzheimer’s disease. An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease.
What is Parkinson’s Dementia?
Parkinson’s disease is often thought to only affect movement, but many people also experience cognitive challenges as well like memory loss and difficulty finding words. Parkinson’s disease causes structure and chemistry changes in the brain, and researchers are still trying to figure out exactly how these changes lead to dementia.
Someone may be diagnosed with Parkinson’s dementia if the onset of dementia occurs at least one year after the onset of motor symptoms. If symptoms of dementia appear before or at the same time as symptoms of Parkinson’s, it is called Lewy body dementia (Parkinson’s Foundation).
What is SLR doing to support those with Parkinson’s?
- Movement & Fitness Classes: The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) recommends regular movement and physical activity as a way to maximize health and independence, so recreational and therapeutic programming options at our assisted living communities offer senior-friendly fitness and movement opportunities each day, like Tai Chi, boxing, Yoga, dance and strength training. All programs can be modified for varying levels of ability and cognition.
- Hosting special presentations and speakers: SLR communities regularly host expert speakers and professionals to discuss topics relevant to seniors and their families, including Parkinson’s disease.
- Training for associates: Our staff goes through specialized training to help aid in the care of people with cognitive conditions, including Parkinson’s.
- Mediterranean-inspired dining program: The Mediterranean diet, which is rich in plant-based foods and those with anti-inflammatory properties, is associated with protection against Parkinson’s disease, in addition to promoting general brain and whole body health. At our assisted living and memory care communities, our award-winning dining program is modeled after dietary patterns found in the Mediterranean region.
Parkinson’s Support Group
Support groups are emerging as a way for those affected by Parkinson’s disease to meet and hear from expert presenters.
Our community in Cambridge hosts a monthly support group, Navigating Parkinson’s, for families dealing with the disease, where they learn about proven strategies to help you better care for a family member.
Additional Parkinson’s Resources
- 10 Steps for Caring for a Person with Parkinson’s Dementia (Parkinson’s Foundation)
- The Healthy Brain Initiative: a Cognitive Health Roadmap (Alzheimer’s Association)
- Cognitive Changes Associated with Parkinson’s Disease (Parkinson’s Foundation)
- Complementary Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease (Parkinson’s News Today)
- Clinical Trial Participation Opportunities (American Parkinson Disease Association)
- Exercise and Parkinson’s (The Michael J. Fox Foundation)