What Causes Parkinson’s Disease? Many Answers

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

A Shortage of Dopamine

Parkinson’s disease occurs when nerve cells, or neurons, in an area of the brain that controls movement become impaired and/or die. Normally, these neurons produce an important brain chemical known as dopamine, but when the neurons die or become impaired, they produce less dopamine. This shortage of dopamine causes the movement problems of people with Parkinson’s.

Dopamine is a chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter. Dopamine is responsible for transmitting signals between the substantia nigra and multiple brain regions. The connection between the substantia nigra and the corpus striatum is critical to produce smooth, purposeful movement. Loss of dopamine in this circuit results in abnormal nerve-firing patterns within the brain that cause impaired movement.

Loss of Norepinephrine

People with Parkinson’s also have loss of the nerve endings that produce the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Norepinephrine, which is closely related to dopamine, is the main chemical messenger of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system controls many automatic functions of the body, such as heart rate and blood pressure. The loss of norepinephrine might help explain several of the non-movement features of Parkinson’s, such as fatigue, irregular blood pressure, decreased gastric motility or movement of food through the digestive tract, and postural hypotension. Postural hypotension is a sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands up from a sitting or lying-down position. It may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and in some cases, loss of balance or fainting.

Genetic Mutations

Although some cases of Parkinson’s appear to be hereditary, and a few can be traced to specific genetic mutations, most cases are sporadic. Sporadic means the disease occurs randomly and does not seem to run in families. Many researchers now believe that Parkinson’s disease results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

 

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson's

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

A Shortage of Dopamine

Parkinson’s disease occurs when nerve cells, or neurons, in an area of the brain that controls movement become impaired and/or die. Normally, these neurons produce an important brain chemical known as dopamine, but when the neurons die or become impaired, they produce less dopamine. This shortage of dopamine causes the movement problems of people with Parkinson’s.

Tips for Communicating to Seniors with Dementia

senior-care

Depending on what stage of dementia your loved one is in, sometimes communication can be a challenge for family members. Dementia can cause mood swings or possibly change their personality and behavior. Here are a few tips to help you connect with a person with dementia.

Realize your challenge
There will always be good days and bad days for those with dementia. Don’t let a few bad interactions discourage you from trying again.

Be patient
Tolerate compassionately any delays or provocation. Dementia isn’t easy but what can make a huge difference in interactions is having patience.

Minimize noise
Loud music, movies, or even construction outside can disturb and confuse people with dementia.

Avoid arguing
Go with the flow and do not contradict people with dementia. Telling them they’re wrong may have a negative effect.

Slow Down
Talk and interact in a relaxed manner. Enable the person to do things for themselves, even if it’s small. Try to keep things simple.

If you need something more than a few tips and you’re considering senior care services in the Tucker, GA area outside of Atlanta, contact us here and discover the Orchard difference.

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Do Seniors Need A Living Will?

What is a living will?

Talking about end-of-life and critical-care issues are never an easy subject and can often get pushed aside because family members aren’t ready to confront this stage, but planning ahead can avert confusion and unnecessary distress during times of concern and grief.

Knowing a loved one’s wishes in advance before an illness or accident ensures that family members won’t have to make tough calls on their behalf during a crisis.

Livings Wills Are Legal Instructions

Also called advance directives or healthcare directives, living wills are written, legal instructions detailing a person’s preferences for medical care if they are unable to make decisions. Advance directives manage healthcare choices for medical professionals and caregivers if a person is terminally ill, critically injured, in a coma, in the late stages of dementia or near the end of life.

Living Wills and Power of Attorney

A living will typically work together with a medical power of attorney (POA). Some states combine the two into one document. The medical POA enables a person to select a person (a spouse, family member, or a friend) to make medical decisions on their behalf.

This isn’t just for older adults either, unexpected critical care and end-of-life situations can occur at any age, it’s crucial for all adults to prepare these documents. For more helpful information for seniors, read more articles on our blog here. To contact the Orchard for assisted living click here to speak to a representative.

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What is Hospice Care?

There are many misconceptions about hospice care, and those misunderstandings can prevent people from taking advantage of helpful services that could improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. To start off, hospice is not a “place”, it is a combination of specialized services to help patients and families cope with a terminal illness.

Hospices specialize in serving patients with a terminal illness. While these illnesses are not curable, a lot can be done to make the patient’s life more comfortable and help them do things that are important to them at this stage of their life.

Hospice care is personalized for every patient and family. It focuses on improving and maintaining patients’ and their families’ quality of life. Hospice helps individuals to live as well as possible through expertly managing pain and other symptoms they experience.

Most people who have a terminal illness are eligible for hospice care and have their care paid for by Medicaid, Medicare, Veteran’s Benefits, or private insurance.

Orchard hospice care supports patients with a terminal illness and their families by providing services such as:

  • Expert guidance and support for those caring for the patient, including information about the patient’s condition, their medications, and how to best care for the patient’s medical and personal care needs.
  • Needed medications, medical equipment and supplies.
  • Coordination of the patient’s care and medications with all of the patient’s medical providers, including the patient’s own doctors, hospice doctors, nurses, and other staff.
  • Emotional and spiritual support for both the patient and their family during this phase of life. This includes help for the family before and after the patient dies.

By partnering with local Hospice providers in Tucker and the surrounding Georgia area, Orchard has dedicated itself to offering the most comfortable facilities, excellent team members, and amenities that will make that final transition to end of life care as comfortable as possible. Hospice services may also be provided onsite.

To learn more about our Hospice Care, contact Orchard here or call (770) 938-5600.

Orchard Senior Living for the 2016 Tucker Small Business Excellence Award in the Retirement Homes

Orchard Senior Living selected for 2016 Tucker Small Business Excellence Award

Tucker,GA – January 05, 2017 — Orchard Senior Living has been selected for the 2016 Tucker Small Business Excellence Award in the Retirement Homes classification by the Tucker Small Business Excellence Award Program.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Tucker Small Business Excellence Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Tucker Small Business Excellence Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Tucker Small Business Excellence Awards Program

The Tucker Small Business Excellence Awards recognizes outstanding small businesses that serve the Tucker area. Each year, our selection committee identifies businesses that we believe have achieved outstanding marketing success in their local community and business classification.

Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. These are small businesses that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Tucker area a vibrant and vital place to live.

The Tucker Small Business Excellence Awards was established to reward the best of small businesses in Tucker. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to award the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Tucker Small Business Excellence Award Program

 

New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

Start on January 1

Making a New Year’s resolution to eat better, exercise, watch your weight, and see your healthcare provider regularly, can help you get healthier and feel better for many more years to come. Here are our top New Year’s resolutions for seniors.

Eat healthier
When it comes to eating, make sure you have plenty of veggies on your plate. Choose foods with deep colors like spinach, oranges, and carrots. Start a fiber-rich diet and switch fatty meats with heart-healthy fish like tuna or salmon.

Stay active
Physical activity can always be helpful despite any constraining situations like heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis. In fact, physical activity is known to improve all of these conditions. Exercises like water aerobics, walking and stretching can help improve your bones and balance.

See your provider regularly
Schedule an annual appointment with your doctor to discuss health screenings that can check your vision, hearing, and other conditions such as cancers or osteoporosis. After each visit talk about medications you’re taking and whether you still need to take them.

You may feel like you hear these same resolutions every year, but it’s only because these are the easiest to slip away from us! People can quickly fall into bad habits, getting on the right track can make all the differences. We are located in the Tucker, Georgia near Atlanta to find out how our community of care is working together with your loved one to meet these New Year’s resolutions through assisted living and memory care, contact us here or call 770-938-5600.

Brain Exercise in the Winter

crossword

Taking part in an activity that is fun and thought provoking can improve a senior’s quality of life. Many studies support the connection between lifestyle and dementia risk- finding that following a brain-healthy lifestyle and performing regular brain exercises can also increase a brain’s cognitive resources.

In the colder days of winter getting some good mental stimulation can often mean indoor activity- and that means for many crossword puzzles, word searches, or adult coloring. Solid research supports that doing these activities helps in many ways including:

  • Prevent Dementia
  • Improve Verbal Skills
  • Practice Solving Problems
  • Identifying Patterns

You can find free printouts online or even books at your local grocery store. If the senior in your life loves a good brain challenge, engage with them in one or more of these activities!

To learn more about active brain activity for seniors or to find out more information about our Atlanta assisted living and memory care services in the Tucker, Georgia area, contact us here or call 770-938-5600!