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5 Health Risks for Elderly People with Cerebral Palsy

There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, and it can make life difficult for aging adults. Although seniors may face several challenges, there are different ways to manage the symptoms and live a happy, healthy, and independent life.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior care. Philadelphia families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Here are some of the most common risks seniors with cerebral palsy face.

1. Difficulty Walking

Many seniors with cerebral palsy lose the ability to walk due to increased pain in their joints and muscles, or because they have become accustomed to using a wheelchair or scooter. Seniors who are able to walk often have decreased mobility, putting them at a higher risk of falling and injuries.

2. Developing Arthritis

If your loved one is living with cerebral palsy, he or she has a high risk of arthritis due to musculoskeletal abnormalities that cause pain. The abnormal relationship between excessive joint compression and joint surfaces can lead to arthritis and osteoarthritis. If your loved one has limited strength and restricted movement patterns, he or she will be at a higher risk of nerve entrapments. To prevent arthritis from developing, your loved one will need to maintain a healthy weight and stay fit. An occupational therapist can help strengthen your loved one’s muscles.

3. Swallowing Disorders

Adults with cerebral palsy are at a risk of dysphagia and other swallowing disorders that affect the central nervous system. The impaired motor function may make it difficult for your loved one to eat certain foods. Your loved one should do face and jaw muscle exercises to help with swallowing and eating. Pureed foods are easier for adults with cerebral palsy to swallow. It is important for your loved one to be treated for swallowing disorders to prevent malnutrition, dehydration, and various respiratory issues.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Philadelphia seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

4. Poor Emotional Health

Aging adults with cerebral palsy often avoid social events out of embarrassment or fear, which could cause a variety of emotional health conditions such as depression and anxiety. To prevent these disorders, you will need to help your loved one manage his or her emotional wellbeing. You can also sign your loved one up for support groups and programs that help him or her maintain a positive outlook on life.

5. Respiratory Health Conditions

Cerebral palsy increases the risk of asthma, chronic lung disease, pneumonia, and other respiratory conditions. If left untreated, some of these conditions can be life-threatening. Your loved one can prevent or treat these issues by making dietary changes, performing lung exercises, taking antibiotics, using an inhaler, and other respiratory intervention options. The objective is to reduce the risk of these life-threatening health conditions and enhance your loved one’s quality of life.

If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits and accomplishing daily tasks, a Philadelphia home caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers are expertly trained to provide mental and social stimulation, assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and much more. For details about our senior care plans and high-quality home caregivers, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (215) 645.4663 or (484) 643.4663 today.