A home healthcare worker, a mature woman of Pacific Islander ethnicity, helping a senior man with a walker enter his house through the front door. She is holding the walker, directing him to watch is step.

Is It Parkinson’s, or Dementia with Lewy Bodies?

Each year, thousands of American seniors are told they have Parkinson’s disease, but they do not. For a number of these people, the true diagnosis is a similar but not as well-known disease: dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

Dementia with Lewy bodies affects as many as 1.3 million Americans, according to the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA). And that estimate could be too low, considering that a number of people who’ve been incorrectly diagnosed with Parkinson’s still have not been given an accurate diagnosis.

Signs and symptoms for the two diseases can be very similar, in particular as they progress, because they exhibit the same root modifications in the brain.

Here are the symptoms you should be aware of, according to the LBDA:

  • Intensifying dementia – Increasing confusion and reduced attention and executive function are frequent. Memory impairment may not be obvious during the early stages.
  • Frequent visual hallucinations – These are commonly complex and detailed.
  • Hallucinations of other senses – Touch or hearing are probably the most typical.
  • REM sleep behavior disorder – This can appear decades before the onset of dementia and Parkinson’s.
  • Frequent falls and fainting – Includes unexplained loss in consciousness.
  • Other psychiatric disruptions – These differ from patient to patient.

Is the correct diagnosis really critical? Diagnosing DLB quickly and properly may possibly mean the difference between life and death, according to Howard I. Hurtig, M.D., Chair, Department of Neurology, Pennsylvania Hospital and Elliott Professor of Neurology. Incorrectly treating DLB can not only result in serious adverse reactions, but could even exacerbate symptoms and prevent accurate symptom management.

Much of the confusion among doctors is due to the fact that both Parkinson’s disease and DLB come under the exact same umbrella of Lewy body dementias.

An important distinction is in the “one-year rule” associated with cognitive symptoms. Patients with Parkinson’s disease ordinarily do not present cognitive issues until at least one year after mobility symptoms start. DLB is the exact opposite, with cognitive symptoms appearing first for at least one year.

Endeavor In-Home Care offers Mesa respite care and dementia care services for the surrounding areas. Contact us at 480-498-2324 to arrange a free home care assessment or to learn more about the way we can help your loved one with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or any other condition common in aging.

senior diet - mesa live in care

Is It Time to Reconsider What Your Parents Have for Dinner?

A healthy senior diet is recommended for many reasons. It’s the best way to lose weight, keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the normal range, and even is believed to help prevent Alzheimer’s. If your parents don’t like to cook for themselves, a healthy diet may be hard to maintain.

Do you know what a senior’s diet should include and avoid? With age come changes to what and how much to eat. Here are the current recommendations…

Double Up on Vegetables

Some seniors do not eat enough when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. Your parent’s dinner plate should have fruits and vegetables on half the plate, a lean protein on one quarter, and a whole grain option on the remaining quarter.

Vegetables are important as they’re great sources of antioxidants. Cruciforms like Brussels sprouts and broccoli are a good choice for their cancer-prevention qualities. See if your parents would consider swapping out two or three meals a week for vegetarian meals to limit the amount of meat they eat.

If your mom or dad can’t chop vegetables, invest in a food processor. It can make it easy to prep ingredients when arthritis makes it hard to hold a knife. Or, hire a home care professional for meal preparation.

Get Plenty of Calcium

Calcium is a good way to prevent osteoporosis. Fat-free or low-fat dairy options are ideal. Plain low-fat yogurt is a good choice if your mom or dad hates drinking milk. You can add it to fruit smoothies each morning to mask the taste if that’s an issue.

If your parents cannot digest or stomach dairy items, look for cereals and fruit juices that are fortified with vitamin D and calcium. Orange juice is one option that often comes in a calcium-added version.

Lower Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Sugar Intake

Saturated fat, sodium, and sugar are to be avoided. All three can increase the risk of health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. While frozen meals and canned soups are easy, they’re often loaded with all three. Cooking meals from scratch is ideal.

Your parents need to get used to reading labels. They may need magnifiers when shopping for items. Many pasta sauces add sugar or corn syrup to the tomatoes to add sweetness. Sugar is often found in canned soups, packaged bread, deli meats, fruit juices, and yogurts.

If your parents don’t like to cook, they can avoid takeout and packaged meals. Call a home care agency and ask about caregivers. Caregivers provide companionship, but they’ll also cook meals, shop for food and much more to help loved ones maintain a healthy senior diet.

If you or an aging loved-one needs care, please contact the Mesa live-in care experts at Endeavor Home Care today at 480-498-2324.

Home Care in Mesa AZ: Frustrated Elderly Shoppers

Four Store Trends That Can Frustrate Elderly Shoppers

Shopping is a necessity. While stores are shifting to online shopping to make things easier, seniors may not be as willing to embrace it. They want to see and touch the items they buy. Here are four trends that seniors find frustrating when shopping.

 

A Shift Away From Personal Checks

Younger generations are used to paying with a debit or credit card. Personal checks are not common. For seniors, personal checks were the common method of payment prior to electronic banking. Many seniors understand personal checks best and want to use them.

Some stores have shifted away from accepting checks at all. Others may accept them, but they’re processed in a new way. The check is scanned, and money is pulled from the account instantly. At this point, the check is voided and handed back to the shopper. Seniors can have a hard time understanding why the check is being handed to them.

Cash can be easier for a senior to use. Otherwise, they may need someone to accompany them until they get used to paying using a credit or debit card.

The Focus on Rewards Cards

So many stores require you to carry a rewards card in order to get the sales price. It’s frustrating digging through a purse or wallet to find the card. Other stores want you to give your phone number to look up the account. Elderly shoppers may not want to recite their phone number out loud in public setting.

It’s best to consider if the savings are really worth the invasion of privacy. If a senior citizen decides it is, a separate key ring filled with the different savings card makes them easier to access.

 

The Addition of More Self-Checkouts

Some stores are removing a section of registers in order to put in self-checkouts. Instead of having a cashier, the shopper scans items and pays through the computerized terminal. If an elderly person relies on shopping trips for socialization, self-checkouts take away that aspect.

 

The Placement of Cheaper Items

Many stores place cheaper items on top or bottom shelves. They want you to spend more, so the cheaper items go in harder-to-reach areas. For a senior who cannot easily bend or stretch, this placement strategy is frustrating.

It requires seniors to ask another shopper to help or to find a store employee. To avoid any difficulty, seniors should shop with a family member or caregiver.

One of the services offered by a caregiver is transportation and assistance when shopping. Caregivers can drive a senior to the store and help them shop for items and pay. Call a home care agency to discuss

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Meza, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Endeavor Home Care today. Call  (480) 535-6800.