6 Strategies for Reducing the Odds of Developing Parkinson’s

6 Ways Seniors Can Lower Their Parkinson’s Risk

By 9  am On

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The number of people 65 and older with Parkinson’s disease is predicted to more than double by 2031, which is just one of the reasons it’s a good idea for older adults to be as proactive as possible about lowering their risk of developing this progressive condition. Here are six ways to accomplish this goal. 

 

1. Get More Vitamin D

Research suggests people with Parkinson’s disease tend to have lower levels of vitamin D, which is important because it helps with the absorption of bone-beneficial calcium. Sunshine is a reliable source of vitamin D, and it can also be found in egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon and tuna, cheese, and certain other dairy products. Supplements may be beneficial as well for some seniors. 

Preparing nutritious meals is often a challenging task for seniors with Parkinson’s. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of at-home care. Assisting Hands Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

 

2. Fight Inflammation

It’s believed certain inflammatory changes in the brain may play a role in the development and progression of Parkinson’s disease. Research suggests the popular anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen may lower Parkinson’s risk for seniors. Foods with natural anti-inflammatory properties that could produce similar results include: 

  • Berries 
  • Broccoli and other green leafy veggies 
  • Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and other inflammation-reducing spices 
  • Dark chocolate in moderation 

Another way to keep inflammation in check is for seniors to find ways to manage stress effectively. This is because emotional stress also contributes to inflammation that may affect the brain. 

 

3. Maintain Optimal Mental Health

There’s evidence suggesting seniors with depression may be at increased risk for developing Parkinson’s. While treatment for mental health disorders will vary based on the circumstances, such conditions are often manageable with a combination of therapy and medication. 

 

4. Get Regular Exercise

To date, no studies show exercising regularly prevents Parkinson’s altogether. However, assessments of larger populations suggest staying physically active may play a role in lowering the risk of developing this condition. 

Parkinson’s itself is related to a loss of nerve cells in certain parts of the brain. Senior-friendly forms of exercise, such as water-based activities, yoga, low-impact aerobics, and walking, may also help the brain work more efficiently in a way that minimizes brain cell damage. Regular exercise has also been linked to better cognitive health. 

Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional in-home care. Fremont families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

 

5. Eat More CoQ10-Rich Foods

CoQ10 is a naturally occurring coenzyme that acts like a cell-protecting antioxidant. Deficiencies of this substance have been associated with neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease. An easy way for seniors to get more CoQ10 is by eating healthy foods that naturally contain it. Some of these include: 

  • Liver, kidney, and other organ meats 
  • Wild-caught fish 
  • Cauliflower, spinach, and certain other vegetables

 

6. Stay Away from Pesticides & Other Toxins

While the research isn’t conclusive, there’s some evidence suggesting exposure to pesticides and other toxins may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s later in life. Since exposure to toxic substances isn’t healthy in general, it never hurts for older adults to err on the side of caution and avoid direct contact with substances like these.

Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they’ll likely need assistance from family members or other caregivers to do so safely. For many seniors in Fremont, 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 Assisting Hands Home Care, we extensively screen all of our 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. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today.