Symptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. They may also have mental and behavioral changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, and fatigue.
Physical therapy to help you with your movement. Occupational therapy make daily activities easier. Speech therapy to improve your speaking and swallowing. Music, art, or pet therapy to improve your mood and help you relax.
In most cases, symptoms change slowly, with substantive progression taking place over the space of many months or years. Many people with PD have symptoms for at least a year or two before a diagnosis is actually made. The longer symptoms are present, the easier it is to predict how a person with PD will do over time.
Most people with Parkinson's disease have a normal or near-normal life expectancy. Modern medications and treatments mean that people can manage their symptoms and reduce the occurrence or severity of complications, which might otherwise be fatal.
It should be noted that the life expectancy of Parkinson's disease can be normal or near normal. However, a number of factors can shorten life expectancy. According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, patients usually live between 10 and 20 years after diagnosis.
The two of the biggest causes of death for people with Parkinson's are Falls and Pneumonia: Falls – Parkinson's patients are typically at an increased risk of falls due to postural instability and other symptoms of Parkinson's.
Available studies have shown that compared with healthy controls, patients with PD are accompanied by high rates of premature death. This is usually caused by factors such as pneumonia and cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases.
Some studies have reported that the average time from onset of Parkinson's to developing dementia is about 10 years. One large study found that about three-quarters of people who live with Parkinson's for more than 10 years will develop dementia.
Parkinson's symptoms and stress. Although tremor in particular tends to worsen when a person is anxious or under stress, all the symptoms of PD, including slowness, stiffness, and balance problems, can worsen. Symptoms, particularly tremor, can become less responsive to medication.
This mental side of Parkinson's can start with confusion and progress to include hallucinations and dementia. The hallucinations, when coupled with dementia, is certainly one of the most heartbreaking aspects of Parkinson's. “The hallucinations and dementia, and returning to a 2nd childhood.”
Driving with Parkinson's
You will likely be able to drive safely and legally for several years after a Parkinson's diagnosis, depending on your age and general physical condition. However, Parkinson's disease may eventually affect reaction time, ability to handle multiple tasks at once and vision.
Symptoms usually get worse over time, and new ones probably will pop up along the way. Parkinson's doesn't always affect how long you live. But it can change your quality of life in a major way. After about 10 years, most people will have at least one major issue, like dementia or a physical disability.
Happiness can be an elusive thing when battling a chronic disease like Parkinson's. So many things can get in the way of experiencing happiness: pain, deep fatigue, irritability, the time consumed by the disease, and grief accompanying things stolen by the disease.
Sudden deterioration in Parkinson's disease is frequently encountered in clinical practice. It usually occurs over several days or weeks, and the cause is most likely related to a symptom rather than progression of the condition.
Tremors, muscle stiffness and slowness of movement are all common early symptoms of Parkinson's – but there are also other signs to be aware of. Up to half of people with Parkinson's say they experience fatigue. It can be made worse by doing too little or trying to do too much.
The term "sundowning" refers to a state of confusion occurring in the late afternoon and lasting into the night. Sundowning can cause different behaviors, such as confusion, anxiety, aggression or ignoring directions. Sundowning can also lead to pacing or wandering.
Average Life Expectancy for Seniors with Parkinson's
On average, a person with Parkinson's disease dies at the age of 81, which is equal to national life expectancy rates. Depending on age and location, overall life expectancy is somewhere between the ages of 78 and 81.
Myth 5: Parkinson's disease is fatal.
Parkinson's disease is not a direct killer, like stroke or heart attack. That said, much depends on the quality of your care, both from your medical team and yourself. As the disease progresses, you may become more vulnerable to falls, which can be dangerous.
When patients reach stage five – the final stage of Parkinson's disease – they will have severe posture issues in their back, neck, and hips. They will require a wheelchair and may be bedridden. In end-stage of Parkinson's disease, patients will also often experience non-motor symptoms.
PDD is a disease that changes with time. A person with PDD can live many years with the disease. Research suggests that a person with PDD may live an average of 5–7 years with the disease, although this can vary from person to person.