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The Risk Factors of Parkinson’s Disease

The Risk Factors of Parkinson's DiseaseParkinson’s is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that dramatically affects the daily lives of those who suffer from it. Voluntary movement, walking, speech, balance, posture, even handwriting and facial expression, are compromised by the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Although Parkinson’s symptoms primarily affect movement, people in later stages of the disease often experience psychiatric symptoms, such as depression, dementia, and disturbed sleep, as well as urinary, digestive, and skin problems. There is no cure for Parkinson’s at this time; symptoms are treated with medications and a surgical procedure called deep brain stimulation, and can be managed with a variety of adjustments to the living environment.

The precise mechanism by which Parkinson’s causes movement problems and eventual disability is not completely understood. However, abnormal protein build-ups in neurons, known as Lewy bodies, are thought to play a major role. Lewy bodies concentrate on neurons in parts of the brain responsible for movement, such as the substantial nigra, which are then unable to produce the essential neurotransmitter dopamine.

Although it’s not possible to predict exactly who will be affected by Parkinson’s disease, there are several risk factors that can predispose someone to the condition. Age is perhaps the greatest risk factor: while younger adults occasionally develop early-onset Parkinson’s, most people start experiencing symptoms after the age of 60. Gender is another risk factor. Although women are also susceptible to Parkinson’s, men develop the disease at higher rates. Heredity is also a factor. Someone who is closely related to a person with Parkinson’s has a higher likelihood of developing the disease. People who work in occupations where they experience long-term exposure to certain toxic chemicals commonly found in herbicides and pesticides, such as agricultural work, are also more likely to suffer from Parkinson’s later in life. Head trauma can also increase the likelihood that someone will develop Parkinson’s disease.

Financing Long-Term Care: Private Insurance vs. Medicaid

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There are many variables for the families of Alzheimer’s patients to consider, one of which is the financial aspect of the long-term care. The progressiveness and longevity of the disease makes it difficult to determine the cost of long-term care. However, by exploring all your options and planning for care services early, you can help your loved one receive the best care possible.

Paying out-of-pocket for in-home nursing care or for residence in an adult family home or skilled nursing facility can represent a great financial burden for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Due to the often high cost of these services, it may not be feasible to cover the expenses on your own. However, there are other options, one of which is insurance. Many private insurance plans, as well as the government program Medicaid, offer financing options for skilled nursing care. In addition to traditional health insurance, some life insurance policies allow funds to be allocated to long-term care.

While Medicare does not pay for in-home or residential care, Medicaid funds can be used to finance this type of care for eligible individuals. In order to qualify for Medicaid, your assets must fall below a certain threshold. Your state Medicaid office can help you determine the eligibility of your loved one for nursing home benefits or other programs offered by Medicaid. For individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid or other government programs, private insurance policies specifically dedicated to long-term care can be a good alternative. Such insurance policies vary widely and can range from very basic, such as only covering nursing-home care, to comprehensive. Services offered can include assistance for in-home care, medical supplies, and other products and services. Former military personnel and federal government employees could receive a discounted rate for these insurance plans. Mindful planning and research can help your loved one receive the care that they need within the budget that best suits you.

Coping with Emotional Aspects of Dementia


Individuals suffering from dementia must cope with many changes at once including declining cognitive abilities, memory loss, and impaired communication skills. Knowing that one may experience these vast changes at an unpredictable rate can provoke anxiety, fear, and feelings of helplessness. In order for patients to maintain a good quality of life, it is essential to address unresolved feelings.

Those with Alzheimer’s face crucial and stressful decisions concerning their care. Considerations such as how to preserve physical health and independence can potentially lead to tension between patients and their caregivers. The course of action taken by family members and physicians may differ from the wishes of the person with dementia. This process can be overwhelming, emotionally draining, and humiliating for the patient. In order to avoid negative emotions and reactions, patients need a coping strategy with different outlets to express emotions.

Discussing feelings with a confidant is one of the best ways to help sort out emotions. Simply sharing worries with a loved one can immediately alleviate a sense of helplessness and provide comfort. Maintaining relationships and having a social life makes patients feel less alone. Being connected to other individuals suffering from the disease allows patients to feel supported and understood. Continuing to take part in enjoyable activities – walking, listening to music, gardening, painting, or other physical or creative interests – can also be tremendously beneficial in reducing stress and coping with burdens. The resonating idea is that dementia patients need to feel that their life has value.

Effects of Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease of the joints that, in one form or another, affects many millions of Americans. Its symptoms can range from mildly annoying to completely disabling, depending on the severity of the disease. Arthritis affects many aspects of the lives of its sufferers, including their ability to participate in sports, take part in hobbies, and perform tasks essential to daily living, such as getting in and out of the car, climbing stairs, even typing and opening jars. Although there are many different types of arthritis—osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout are among the most common—each form of the disease can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility in the affected joints. Although arthritis affects people of all ages, it is especially common in older adults. Osteoarthritis is among the most prevalent types of arthritis, and results from wear on the joints over time. Because of this correlation between arthritis and aging—and because many people become familiar with the condition after watching older relatives and loved ones struggle with arthritis symptoms—it’s a common assumption that arthritis is simply an inevitable part of aging. While it’s true that there is at present no cure for arthritis, painful symptoms shouldn’t be ignored just because they’re “normal.” If you are suffering from arthritis, it’s important to talk to your doctor to find solutions for alleviating symptoms and improving your quality of life. Talking to your doctor can help you to come up with a plan for managing symptoms that takes into account your unique needs. Based on your family history, lifestyle, and individual symptoms, your doctor can recommend a range of treatments. These may include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and exercise, therapeutic aids like splints, special shoes, and braces, or simply the application of hot and cold packs to the affected areas. If these measures are inadequate, your doctor may prescribe medications, physical therapy, or, as a last resort, surgery to replace damaged joints.

Other Services

Homemaking, nutrition counseling, and medical social work aides benefit clients in a number of different ways. With availability for short shifts, last-minute requests, live-in care, and unusual needs, our aides and professionals flexibly meet nearly any need. We offer multilingual services in English, Russian, Spanish, Hungarian, Yiddish, and Hebrew to ensure adequate communicate between our professional staff and individual clients. Clients trust our carefully screened aides to perform their duties with skill, compassion, punctuality, and professionalism. Consider hiring our monitored home health aides and professionals to meet your needs.
  • Homemaking:

Dust and allergens aggravate medical conditions while clutter causes slips or falls. Our aides assist with light housekeeping duties such as cleaning, washing dishes, doing laundry and changing linen, among others. For clients with physical limitations or busy schedules, our aides cheerfully shop for necessities such as food, medicine and household supplies. With thorough attention to detail, each aide maintains order, cleanliness and order in the patient’s home. The home is the most optimal environment for our patients. Through these additional services provided by our aides, it also becomes “home” in the fullest sense of the word – clean, efficient, comfortable, cozy and safe.

  • Medical social work:

Although we are generally contacted when because of clients’ physical limitations, it is essential no to overlook their psychological health. This is where our medical social workers intervene, working constantly to improve the quality of our patients’ lives. These trained and certified professionals are among the most caring and sensitive people who work in the realm of elder care. They have highly-developed assessment and analytic skills. Our medical social workers evaluate a patient’s social, emotional, and psychological needs. They then work directly with the patient and, if necessary, the other health care professionals assigned to the case, to build the tools and techniques through which the patient learns and regains the confidence to develop hobbies, engage in stimulating activities, nurture relationships and increase daily productivity. Social workers also offer patient counseling and are always available to lend a sympathetic ear.

  • Nutrition counseling:

A balanced diet is important to all of us, but it is especially vital to the elderly and infirm, in order to provide them with healthy bodies and alert minds. Due to income limitations, dietary needs and rising food costs, patients often find it difficult to prepare nutritionally-balanced meals for themselves. Our nutrition counselors work with clients to ensure that their dietary and nutritional requirements are being met. These licensed and trained nutrition counselors utilize their knowledge and expertise to ensure that each client receives an appropriate and satisfying balance of vitamins, minerals, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. To accomplish this, the nutrition counselor first researches the dietary needs and preferences of the patient. Armed with this information, and in accordance with the patient’s nutritional requirements, the nutrition counselor then creates a customized, specifically tailored meal-plan for the client, thereby making sure that this essential yet often-overlooked aspect of home care is met.

Individually and together, homemaking, nutrition counseling and medical social work improve the quality of life of our clients. With professional focus, unyielding commitment, and deep compassion, our professionals who service these needs offer invaluable assistance, enabling every client to remain as independent and active as possible.


Occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and home nursing are vital services that allow the elderly or disabled person to live with dignity and in the comfort of their own home while at the same time ensuring that they receive the personal attention and medical care that they require. Whether the need is for medical care such as administering injections and/or medication, drawing blood for lab work or providing the therapeutic services aimed at enhancing motor function or speech, therapists and nurses enable the elderly to continue living at home independently while ensuring the home remains a healthy and safe environment.

  • Homemaking:

Dust and allergens aggravate medical conditions while clutter causes slips or falls. Our aides assist with light housekeeping duties such as cleaning, washing dishes, doing laundry and changing linen, among others. For clients with physical limitations or busy schedules, our aides cheerfully shop for necessities such as food, medicine and household supplies. With thorough attention to detail, each aide maintains order, cleanliness and order in the patient’s home. The home is the most optimal environment for our patients. Through these additional services provided by our aides, it also becomes “home” in the fullest sense of the word – clean, efficient, comfortable, cozy and safe.

  • Nursing:

Our registered nurses are on call 24 hours a day to answer questions, administer treatments, ensure that physicians’ orders are followed, and to provide direction and guidance to home health aides. A nurse is assigned to every one of our cases, whereby the nurse supervises and monitors the care provided to the client by the home health aides and other professionals involved in the patient’s care. Nurses are available to visit the patient’s home for nursing services, allowing the patient to receive the treatment needed in order to avoid the often-difficult and laborious trips to a hospital or doctor’s office for routine matters.

  • Occupational therapy:

Our occupational therapists promote patient independence by helping our clients with fine motor function and recover from injuries. They also provide support for the elderly experiencing physical and cognitive changes. They perform individualized evaluations and determine patients’ goals, create customized intervention to improve abilities to perform daily activities, and formulate outcome evaluations to ensure that their goals are being met.

  • Physical therapy:

Physical therapists help patients maximize mobility and function, minimize pain, improve stability and learn proper use of needed equipment such as walkers, grab-bars and wheelchairs. Their therapy is invaluable in improving the quality of life of our seniors.

  • Speech therapy:

We provide speech pathologists trained at helping seniors recover or improve their communication skills, which is often minimized due to injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s or senility. Speech pathologists can also provide eating-related therapies, such as techniques to improve chewing or swallowing.

Home Health Aides

The ability to remain in their own homes is vital to most elderly people. It helps them retain their dignity and their sense of control in the face of physical limitations, which often strips them of that very sense of dignity and independence. In fact, research shows that levels of happiness and personal satisfaction in the geriatric population are directly correlated to one’s sense of self-autonomy. However, parents are frequently urged by their own children, acting with only the best of intentions, to move out of the comfort of their own home, out of concerns for the parents’ safety, personal care, homemaking and social needs.

A home health aide (“HHA”) is an individual who provides routine individualized healthcare services, in a manner unique to each client’s needs, for the elderly, convalescents, or patients with physical or mental disabilities. Through this invaluable assistance, seniors are enabled to remain in the comfortable environment of their own home while leading healthy and productive lives. Most HHAs use agencies, such as Advanced Home Care, to find placement and to begin providing services to the patient. If your elderly parent or loved one requires assistance with everyday tasks but still wishes to live at home, Advanced’s senior/elderly personal care services can provide exactly the type of help needed, while providing you with a clear conscience and peace of mind.
HHAs provide a number of different services for the patients in their care. When needed, they assist in basic tasks such as bathing, feeding and dressing. They can monitor and remind patients to take their medication, assist with patients’ physical and occupational therapy routines and, in general, provide much needed companionship to the clients they are assigned to. HHAs are required to keep detailed notes of the progress of patients in their care and must promptly report any significant incidents that may arise to nurses or other health care professionals. Although they cannot perform all duties of a licensed nurse or physician, such as prescribing medication or treatments, they frequently carry out a doctor or nurse’s directives. Other duties an HHA may perform include light housekeeping, preparing meals for the client, running errands and scheduling appointments for the client.

All HHAs employed by Advanced undergo specialized training and are certified. In addition, we provide them with regular continued education in order to keep them apprised of any relevant developments in the health care industry and to enable them to continuously develop their abilities as care providers. HHAs are compensated on an hourly basis, commensurate with their skill, education and experience. Moreover, HHA’s have room for advancement through continued education. Indeed, many HHAs pursue college degrees part-time, with a number going on to become nurses, physicians and other health care professionals.

Gradually Transitioning from Independence to Dependence with Alzheimer’s

For many people with Alzheimer’s, an eventual loss of independence is inevitable. The effects of the disease, which include memory loss, confusion, difficulty communicating, and emotional disturbances, make it difficult for people suffering from the disease to care for themselves. In-home care or relocating to a residential care facility are often necessary in order to ensure safety and comfort for Alzheimer’s patients as the disease progresses. Loved ones and professional caregivers can help assist those with Alzheimer’s to perform daily tasks. Despite the need for outside help, people with Alzheimer’s can greatly benefit from maintaining a degree of independence, especially in the early stages of the disease.

While family members and caregivers may have the best of intentions when helping patients perform daily tasks, it is possible to create “excess dependency.” It can be difficult to watch someone struggle with a task. This may cause personal frustration and an overwhelming need to intervene – even when the person with Alzheimer’s is capable of performing the task themselves with minimal guidance. Rather than immediately taking control when difficulty arises, caregivers can instead offer gentle encouragement and verbal cues. Breaking up larger jobs into smaller, simple steps can make things much easier for the patient. Activities such as meal preparation, dressing, and bathing can all be modified to accommodate the abilities of the specific Alzheimer’s sufferer. Remaining patient and open as a caregiver allows those with Alzheimer’s to maintain a sense of independence and involvement in their own care.

Remaining active and engaged with daily life is essential to preserving a sense of meaning and self-worth among Alzheimer’s suffers. A sudden transition from complete independence to complete dependency can lead to depression and worsen symptoms of the disease. Promoting independence for as long as possible creates a gradual transition from independent living to dependence on caregivers. Making sure to involve Alzheimer’s patients in daily life to the extent that their condition allows is a healthy way to foster a personal sense of meaning and maintain a good quality of life.

What are the early symptoms of Parkinsons disease?What are the early symptoms of Parkinsons disease?What are the early symptoms of Parkinsons disease?What are the early symptoms of Parkinsons disease?What are the early symptoms of Parkinsons disease?What are the early symptoms of Parkinsons disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative disorder of the nervous system, caused by gradual loss of function in the parts of the brain that control movement. Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremor of the hands, face, or limbs, stiffness in the arms, legs, and torso, and difficulty initiating voluntary movement. Other early symptoms may include smaller handwriting, stooping or poor posture, and a shuffling walk, and a consistently “serious,” “sad, or angry” facial expression, regardless of the person’s actual mood. Parkinson’s usually affects people over the age of 50. For most people who develop Parkinson’s, early symptoms are subtle, appear gradually over time, and progress in stages. In some people, however, symptoms progress much more quickly, leading to a more sudden loss of ability. As the primary symptoms of Parkinson’s become more pronounced, affected individuals often have more difficulty walking, talking, and completing everyday tasks. Walking often becomes problematic as balance, posture, and coordination are compromised, and a characteristic shuffling gait develops, making falls more likely. Talking sometimes becomes difficult for people with Parkinson’s as the disease progresses; many Parkinson’s sufferers speak in a very soft voice, have trouble modulating their tone, and may struggle to find the right words to express themselves. Bathing, dressing, and other activities of daily living become more difficult as coordination deteriorates and voluntary movement gets harder. People with Parkinson’s may experience trouble eating, as a lack of control over the muscles that govern chewing and swallowing make mealtimes more of a challenge. Because of the progressive nature of Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to stay vigilant at the first onset of symptoms. Although it’s impossible to predict how quickly symptoms will get worse, since disease progress varies from person to person, it’s vital to pursue treatment and coordinate assistance for affected individuals as soon as possible.