Is There More than One Type of Parkinson’s?

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Parkinson’s disease is still the subject of research, and you may come across different myths and beliefs about what it means to live with this health condition. While Parkinson’s disease tends to be used as an umbrella term for a variety of different symptoms, you should know there are different types of the condition. For most people, Parkinson’s disease can be distinguished by the two main types. However, the secondary type also contains subtypes that can further complicate your understanding of your senior loved one’s diagnosis. This guide breaks it down so you can provide the right type of care for your loved one.

Understanding Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease

Idiopathic Parkinson’s is considered to be the primary form of Parkinson’s disease, and it’s the type most people are familiar with. In fact, it’s also the most common type for someone to be diagnosed with, and those who have idiopathic Parkinson’s disease tend to be easier to treat because the condition follows a fairly predictable path, with symptoms that are well-known for being associated with Parkinson’s. This type can also occur without other health conditions already being in place, which makes it easier for physicians to strategize about your loved one’s treatment plan.

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with everyday activities, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care services. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Learning About the Secondary Types of Parkinson’s

There’s also a subgroup of Parkinson’s types. You may hear this subgroup referred to as atypical or a secondary form of Parkinson’s. These types sometimes progress faster than idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, or they may involve other types of health conditions that require dual treatments. For instance, drug-induced Parkinsonism is one of the most common secondary forms. This type is often caused by the side effects of medications such as antidepressants. The tremors and challenges a person experiences with this type tend to be less severe than with primary Parkinson’s, and they sometimes go away after stopping the medication. However, vascular Parkinson’s tends to occur suddenly and with severe symptoms. It often follows a stroke and may require additional treatment for vascular issues to address the symptoms.

Finding Out Which Type of Parkinson’s Your Loved One Has

In most cases, the doctor can let you know which type of Parkinson’s your loved one has after performing an exam and doing any necessary tests. For instance, drug-induced Parkinsonism is usually suspected if the symptoms occur shortly after a person begins to take medications associated with this subtype.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Huntington seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Providing Compassionate Home Care

Knowing more about the two different types of Parkinson’s and the associated subtypes allows you to focus on managing your loved one’s care. With most types, you can anticipate your loved one will eventually face difficulty with tasks such as walking and maintaining good posture. Make sure to provide support at home that helps your loved one maintain independence and stay safe as your family learns how to help him or her manage the disease.

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Huntington homecare services agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (304) 521-2909 to learn more about our customized care plans.


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