Top 10 Parkinson’s Disease Articles from 2018

Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease each year. The combined direct and indirect cost of Parkinson’s, including treatment, social security payments and lost income, is estimated to be nearly $25 billion per year in the United States alone.

Medications alone cost an average of $2,500 a year.

Because there is no cure, at present, for Parkinson’s Disease, the most common treatment is directed at managing or improving symptoms. That being the case there are more than enough studies being conducted and theories being tested on best methods and new modalities for the science and medicine behind the disease.

If you’re interested in the top articles in the on-going dialogue that is Parkinson’s Disease, Parkinson’s News Today has a great list of top reads from 2018.

The list includes clinical phase trials, possible vaccines, research, and related symptoms.

Need help with Parkinson’s Disease? Broad Street Home Care’s Comprehensive Parkinson’s Program ensures best practices thanks to our partnership with Struther’s Parkinson’s Care Network. We provide Personal Assistants who are specially trained in the condition and who can help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network we can help you find the right resources like advocates to attend appointments with you and doctors to help answer questions or identify areas of concern. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.

 

The Topic of Aging Comes to Market

How we define aging helps us age better (as well as have compassion for others who are aging).

Compared to previous generations health care and medicine are better at elongating our lives. We have better education and awareness about preventative care including regular exercise and diet. We’re working longer at our careers and we engage in more vibrant lifestyle choices. Business is noticing this, and with a rate of approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 each day, marketers are perking up their ears too.

Not that any of us need a reason to have marketers target us any more closely than they already do, however, we have to remember that in the digital age marketing is blended into the content that drives awareness. So, if we want the right message to inform the topic of aging we first need to drop the outdated ideas.

On one hand we don’t want to over-infantilize the aged by promoting 99-year-olds who have tattoos, wear tight clothing, high heels/biker boots and hang out at bars with Instagram celebrities. On the other hand, the concept of aging doesn’t need to suggest a future specter of declining health and diminished lifestyle.

What is aging? Is the term anti-aging an appropriate word to describe the resistance of it? The magazine Allure has announced that it will no longer use the term anti-aging. To support it, celebrities offered some really beautiful quotes about their own experience with the aging process.

Aging doesn’t need to be an activity we resist, rather, it‘s a situation we need to embrace and support. It is change based on the passage of time and according to many, opens up a welcome, deeper sense of experience.

While it’s true that aging brings a new set of physical conditions to the body and mind, as Isabella Rossalini says in an InStyle article;

“At 66, my approach to aging is… To embrace it. I never feel like, “Oh, I wish I were 35.” When you’re young, you have the pressure to earn money, prove yourself. I had to be a beauty, an actress, and do the red carpet. The fact that I was interested in animals or running a farm had no value. So, age has given me time to do all the things I’ve always wanted to do. I feel richer in a way. OK, the neck I don’t love! And I’ve certainly lost agility. I can’t do somersaults anymore, but it’s all right.

It’s also true that many agers report feeling better about themselves in advanced age than they did when they were younger; the pressure is off and more wisdom is gained.

A 20-year longitudinal study found that negative mood and depressive symptoms decreased significantly as women transition from mid-life (ages 50 to 64) to later life (65 and older). For many women, this appears to be related to the positivity around more “me” time as they wind down from full-time work and family responsibilities.

Being happy while you age is referred to as the aging paradox – the idea that while certain things decline, happiness increases. It seems the face of aging has many sides.

So the question is; do we need commerce to validate and steer the aging process by commoditizing it? Or is the societal idea of aging in general getting a much-needed face-lift thanks to social media and marketing?

The bottom line is that it should be like the golden rule; treat others the way you wish to be treated.

Let’s respect the aging process. It’s coming for us all. And while there are many things that set individuals apart, the one thing we can all count on is that we all age and that we may not always like the way it plays out. However, if we have the right mindset, the right dialogue around it and the right support, aging can be a very enlivened experience.

 

Healthy Eating and Alzheimer’s Disease

Eating healthy foods helps everyone stay well. It’s even more important for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Here are some tips for healthy eating.

Buying and Preparing Food

When the person with Alzheimer’s disease lives with you:

-Buy healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products. -Be sure to buy foods that the person likes and can eat.
-Give the person choices about what to eat—for example, “Would you like green beans or salad?”
-Buy food that is easy to prepare, such as pre-made salads and single food portions.

When a person with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease lives alone, you can buy foods that the person doesn’t need to cook. Call to remind him or her to eat.

Maintain Familiar Routines

Change can be difficult for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Maintaining familiar routines and serving favorite foods can make mealtimes easier. They can help the person know what to expect and feel more relaxed. If a home health aide or other professional provides care, family members should tell this caregiver about the person’s preferences.

Try these tips:

-View mealtimes as opportunities for social interaction. A warm and happy tone of voice can set the mood.
-Respect personal, cultural, and religious food preferences, such as eating tortillas instead of bread or avoiding pork.
-If the person has always eaten meals at specific times, continue to serve meals at those times.
-Serve meals in a consistent, familiar place and way whenever possible.
-Avoid new routines, such as serving breakfast to a person who has never routinely eaten breakfast.

As Alzheimer’s progresses, familiar routines and food choices may need to be adapted to meet the person’s changing needs. For example, a family custom of serving appetizers before dinner can be preserved, but higher-calorie items might be offered to help maintain the person’s weight.

Stay Safe

In the early stage of Alzheimer’s, people’s eating habits usually do not change. When changes do occur, living alone may not be safe anymore. Look for these signs to see if living alone is no longer safe for the person with Alzheimer’s:

-The person forgets to eat.
-Food was burned because it was left on the stove.
-The oven isn’t turned off.

Other difficulties, such as not sitting down long enough for meals and refusing to eat, can arise in the middle and late stages of the disease. These changes can lead to poor nourishment, dehydration, abnormally low blood pressure, and other problems.

Caregivers should monitor the person’s weight and eating habits to make sure he or she is not eating too little or too much. Other things to look for include appetite changes, the person’s level of physical activity, and problems with chewing or swallowing. Talk with the person’s doctor about changes in eating habits.

Reprinted from The National Institute on Aging

Broad Street can help. We provide Personal Assistants who can assist with the activities of daily living, help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network we can help you find the right resources like advocates and care managers. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.

Chronic Conditions and Aging at Home

Chronic diseases can have a profound impact on the health and quality of life of elder Americans, not to mention the financial burden that is often associated with long-term illness. But specialists in gerontology and the emerging field of anti-aging medicine are quick to point out that while the risk of disease and disability undoubtedly can increase with advancing years, poor health is not an inevitable consequence of aging.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) a lot of the sickness, disability, and even death associated with chronic disease can be avoided through preventive measures. The CDC suggests lessening the possibility of the onset of chronic disease in later years by:

• Practicing a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular exercise and avoiding tobacco use.
• Regular use of early detection and testing such as breast, prostate and cervical cancer screenings, diabetes and cholesterol screenings, bone density scans, etc.

Most common chronic conditions of the elderly

All too often, because there are so many chronic conditions that seem to afflict older persons, there is the mistaken perception that diabetes, arthritis and the like, are just “part of growing old” — and nothing can be done about them. The truth is most of these diseases and conditions are treatable and should be addressed by a physician. According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, the most common chronic diseases afflicting the elderly are:

• Adult-onset diabetes
• Arthritis
• Kidney and bladder problems
• Dementia
• Parkinson’s disease
• Glaucoma
• Lung disease
• Cataracts
• Osteoporosis
• Enlarged prostate
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Macular degeneration
• Depression
• Cardiovascular disease

If your parents are diagnosed with any of these or other illnesses, the best thing you can do is to educate yourself about how you can best help them. Usually, when an older person is diagnosed with a chronic condition, there is an immediate feeling of facing a loss of freedom and autonomy, a sense that his or her days of living independently at home are numbered. This fear may actually make your aging parents refuse to seek help. Experts agree that one of the most practical ways an adult child can help parents facing a chronic illness is by providing information about available resources to enhance their independence and quality of life. All the major chronic conditions listed in this article have an associated foundation or association with information that can help your parent to live with his or her condition. Providing these resources is one of the most important gifts you can give to your aging parent.

“A lot of the sickness, disability and even death associated with chronic disease can be avoided through preventive measures.” — Centers for Disease Control

There are also many companies that are dedicated to manufacturing and distributing products specifically made to help people “age at home” including:

-Reachers — lobster claw-like devices for people with arthritis or other muscle or joint conditions that make bending or reaching difficult.
-Shower chairs and bath benches and hand-held shower heads for bathing.
-Elevated toilet seats.
-Automatic lifts for stairwells, beds, and chairs.
-Talking clocks, wristwatches, and calculators for people with poor vision.

Helping a parent with a chronic condition maintain his or her lifestyle can be a challenge, but by providing information about resources and other help available you can take comfort in the knowledge that you are doing what you can to support your parent’s needs and wishes.

Reprinted from Parentgiving.com.

Broad Street can help. We provide Personal Assistants who can assist with the activities of daily living, help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network, we can help you find the right resources like advocates and care managers. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.

 

Specialized Home Care

Specialized home care can make the difference between someone watching your loved one to someone actively supporting unique health needs. Broad Street’s high level of customized service along with Nurse Oversight makes us uniquely effective when it comes to supporting individuals with underlying health conditions. This includes understanding your specific needs and providing detailed training to your carefully chosen assistants. Your care is proactively managed to provide you with the best solution.

Parkinson’s Disease

Although the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be complex and ever-changing, we focus on you and your individual goals and objectives. Through our Comprehensive Parkinson’s Program, we provide trained professionals to work with you and address the specific symptoms affecting your life, both visible and under the surface. Our goal is to not only ensure your safety and support but to empower you to continue to live your life.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Working with Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia requires a deep sense of empathy and understanding. At Broad Street, we focus on treating you with the respect and dignity you deserve. By getting to know you and your history, we establish a routine that encourages mental and physical activity. To accomplish this, we provide the right personal assistant who has the experience and training but equally as important, is able to relate with you or your loved one on a personal level. Ultimately our goal is to promote happiness for you and comfort for your family.

Stroke Recovery

The abruptness of Stroke can be traumatizing not only physically but emotionally as well. The change
in your daily routine and the time it takes to recover can be frustrating for you and your family. Broad Street works to ease this process by developing a comprehensive plan which includes simplifying your daily function and helping you stay engaged and progressing towards physical and mental recovery. With Nurse Oversight, we assist you in following your physician’s plan of care, which may include medication management, blood work or the maintenance of a proper diet. Our goal is to minimize your frustration and accelerate your path towards recovery.

Chronic Conditions including Diabetes, COPD and CHF

As our population ages, we become more susceptible to developing one or more of these chronic conditions. The impact these conditions have on you or your loved ones depends on how well they are managed. With Broad Street’s nurse oversight working collaboratively with our experienced personal assistants, we help you manage your condition. This is often achieved through a regimen of improved diet and exercise as well as medication management. Your care is also proactively managed by our nurses who can consult with your physician and provide clinical feedback. The goal is to keep you healthy and at home, and to minimize the need for future hospitalizations.

Other Cognitive and Physical Conditions

Broad Street maintains a well-developed professional network of clinical specialists and ancillary support services. These relationships, combined with a customized service plan and client specific training, are instrumental in providing personalized support for a range of cognitive and/or physical conditions.

This can include the following:
– Cancer treatment and recovery
– Neuromotor diseases including MS and ALS
– Traumatic brain injury
– Depression and other emotional issues
– Advanced mobility assistance and fall prevention

Broad Street can help. We provide Personal Assistants who can assist with the activities of daily living, help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network we can help you find the right resources like advocates and care managers. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.

Why You May Need to Hire an Extra Caregiver

Traditionally individuals who could not live alone or meet their own care needs could choose to live in a nursing home (licensed healthcare residences for individuals who require a higher level of medical care) which provided 24/7 staff to oversee the residents. It was the only game in town. Now there are more options including assisted living and independent living communities as well as a multitude of services geared towards aging-in-place for seniors. With more options, comes more confusion as to what you actually get for your money.

Too often people opt for assisted living or a nursing home not realizing that the services for care are limited. In the case of assisted living, the community may offer a staff that oversees needs, but that doesn’t automatically mean that the staff attends to the needs in a full-service capacity. Typically a menu of services will be offered at extra cost and may only cover a one-time-daily visit to the individual in their unit/room or something small like medication management.

Nursing homes offer more skilled care but there are increasing limitations.

Which is why, more and more, individuals find themselves living in assisted living or nursing homes while also having to hire a private caregiver to attend to their daily needs.

Hire a caregiver for your loved one who is in a nursing home for which you already pay $5000-15,000 a month?  It sounds crazy. Unfortunately, it’s not that crazy.

According to an article in the New York Times, nursing homes are suffering a shortage of residents; “nursing homes get only 43 percent of Medicaid’s long‐term care expenditures.”

This, of course, drives the cost of the facility upwards and the clientele down. Thus, “The 31 largest metropolitan markets have 13,586 fewer nursing home beds now than in late 2005.”

“To avert the crisis nursing homes say they will accept sicker patients, including those on ventilators, at higher reimbursement rates. They’re experimenting with 12hour staff shifts, allowing them to hire fewer employees but offer more flexible schedules. But what about those who already live in nursing homes, or will move in over the coming years, because they need the roundtheclock supervision no other kind of facility offers? ‘From what I’ve observed, as occupancy goes down, so will staff levels,’ Ms. Grant said. With most nursing home staffs already stretched too thin, that could hurt. Despite extensive federal regulations, including new rules adopted in the waning months of the Obama administration, nursing homes have no federal minimum staffing requirements (though some states have requirements). ‘You can cut with impunity,’ Ms. Grant said, and with financial pressures mounting, she worries that facilities will.”

The article ends with a warning; “…families with relatives in nursing homes might want to pay particular attention. If occupancy falls, maybe your loved one gets a private room. Or maybe the call button takes even longer to answer.”

So just because an individual is in a skilled setting like a nursing home, doesn’t mean they will be getting the hourly or constant care that they need. The individual may be part of a rotation, with a limited number of staff members, where care isn’t immediate. And this is why more and more, individuals find themselves living in a nursing home or assisted living while also having to hire a private caregiver to attend to their daily needs.

The purpose of many facilities is to provide oversight and supervision in the larger sense. It’s certainly less isolating to live in a community where you know help is in close proximity. However, for individuals who really need frequent attention to their activities of daily living, private care companionship and caregiving might make all the difference.

Broad Street can help. We provide Personal Assistants who can assist with the activities of daily living, help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network, we can help you find the right resources like advocates and care managers. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.

 

Comprehensive Parkinson’s Program

Broad Street realizes that providing the right solution for your care requires much more than an awareness of Parkinson’s disease and its symptoms. To provide the highest level of personalized care available, we’ve developed a Comprehensive Parkinson’s Program designed to empower you to live the life you choose.

Our Approach

We start with understanding. Despite the symptoms of Parkinson’s, you remain a vibrant person with a full life ahead. Whether your symptoms are visible or below the surface, we address them by creating a personalized plan that mitigates their impact on your life and the lives of those around you. It is by understanding your unique situation that we are able to develop a customized level of service specifically suited for your needs.

A Nurse Supervisor will come to your home and work with you to develop a dynamic plan of service. Your plan is designed to incorporate your goals and personal preferences which empowers you to maintain your daily routines. Critical to the success of your plan is the careful selection of the right Personal Assistants who have completed our Comprehensive Parkinson’s Training Program. This is a collaborative approach where your Nurse Supervisor communicates closely with our Human Resource manager to identify the best suited assistant. Your Personal Assistant then undergoes a secondary, customized training focused specifically on your condition.

Clinical oversight is also provided throughout your care by a Nurse Supervisor who provides support to you and your personal assistants and addresses any changes in your condition. Nurse oversight is also about communication. Through direct feedback and proactive management we ensure that necessary information is shared with your family and your multidisciplinary team. This allows us to work together in providing the most effective level of care.

The Result

With the establishment of clinically supported practices provided by trained professionals, your safety and wellbeing are enhanced. This, in turn, leads to empowerment, the key to a higher quality of life.

Struthers Parkinson’s Care Network

In 2016, we partnered with the Struthers Parkinson’s Care Network which was instrumental in the development of our training curriculum. The Struthers team coordinates a network of care organizations across the country facilitating a method of communicating successes and struggles encountered in the delivery of care. We continue to collaborate with The Struthers Parkinson’s Care Network to ensure that we are delivering the most effective training and utilizing the best practices available in support of our clients.

Comprehensive Parkinson’s Training

By focusing on education and implementation of best practices, Broad Street has developed a state-of-the-art training program unique to the Chicago area

Classroom Education

Our curriculum begins with a core education on the causes and symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. By knowing how dopamine impacts how the brain communicates with the rest of the body, it establishes a basis of understanding and recognition that symptoms are involuntary.  This creates patience when learning how to help manage changing conditions.

Hands on Training

Once a basis of understanding is established, we then introduce simulation exercises focused on techniques and tools used to provide physical and emotional support needed for specific symptoms (timely medication management, cueing to improve gait and prevent falls, nutrition and exercise, patience, understanding and respect).

Client Specific Education

Based on your input and our clinical observations, our Nurse Supervisors provide your personal assistant with additional training specific to your current conditions and most importantly, your goals and objectives.

Multidisciplinary Approach

Working with your existing clinical team, our nurses and personal assistants can capture and communicate requested information back to your team. This ensures the utilization of therapeutic practices, helps maintain and measure the effectiveness of your treatments and allows for adjustments in your care over time. Your multidisciplinary team may include:

> Neurologists and Movement Disorder Specialists

> Primary Care Physicians

> Social Workers

> Physical, Occupational and Speech/Language Therapists

> Exercise Physiologists and Physical Trainers focused on Parkinson’s

> Dieticians

> Family Members

 

Need help with Parkinson’s Disease? We provide Personal Assistants who are specially trained in the condition and who can help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network we can help you find the right resources like advocates to attend appointments with you and doctors to help answer questions or identify areas of concern. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.

Rock Steady Boxing for Parkinson’s

Approaches to treating Parkinson’s Disease are rapidly changing. There’s more awareness and support for the disease than ever before. Recent celebrities like Alan Alda and Neil Diamond have publicly spoken about their own diagnoses, offering an honest and long needed dialogue about the disease and what its like to live with it.

Rock Steady Boxing

“There are many new options to improve the lives of PWP (people with Parkinson’s).  Neurologists are much more sub-specialized and movement disorder specialists are much more available in many U.S. communities,” says Steve Eisenstein, MD, a board-certified family physician in Northbrook, Illinois. He’s started working with PWP in his area, mixing training methods from traditional Shotokan karate and his new Rock Steady Boxing skills.

Programs like Rock Steady Boxing, a nonprofit organization geared towards wellness, gives people with Parkinson’s disease hope by improving their quality of life through a non-contact boxing based fitness curriculum.  Local family physician and Rock Steady Boxing coach Dr. Steve Eisenstein offers some great tips in his article, “How to Get Your Primary Physician to be Primary Again.”

Need help with Parkinson’s Disease? Broad Street can help. We provide Personal Assistants who are specially trained in the condition and who can help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network we can help you find the right resources like advocates to attend appointments with you and doctors to help answer questions or identify areas of concern. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.

Alan Alda on Parkinson’s Disease

Actor Alan Alda, best known for the tv program M*A*S*H was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 3 years ago. But that hasn’t kept him down or flooded him with fear. According to Alda, who speaks openly about his condition;

alan alda

(image courtesy of CNN and CBS This Morning)

“I’ve had a full life since then,” he said. “I’ve acted, I’ve given talks, I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook, I started this new podcast.”

In a video featured on “CBS This Morning”, Alda communicates that you don’t need to be immobilized by fear when you first receive a Parkinson’s diagnosis;  “You still have things you can do.”

These are important words for many people who may fear the condition; a progressive disorder known for nerve cell damage in the brain.

Further information can be found on the Parkinson’s Foundation site which offers information and resources on the disease.

Need help with Parkinson’s Disease? Broad Street can help. We provide Personal Assistants who are specially trained in the condition and who can help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network we can help you find the right resources like advocates to attend appointments with you and doctors to help answer questions or identify areas of concern. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.

Club Sandwiched Podcast with Broad Street

Thank you to Club Sandwiched for this great podcast!

As podcast host Andrea Weber relates; “Remember when I said that taking away your parent’s driver’s license was a big one? How about cleaning out their house? That’s a big one. Well, this episode just might win the award for one of the bigger moments in the Sandwich Generation – hiring a caregiver for your parent. In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking with Sam Cross, founder and owner of Broad Street Home Care.”

For more information on Club Sandwiched, a great resource for anyone who is taking care of kids and parents, visit www.clubsandwiched.com.

Looking for home care for your aging parents? Broad Street can help. We provide Personal Assistants who can help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network we can help you find the right resources like advocates to attend appointments with you and doctors to help answer questions or identify areas of concern. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.