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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-fourth of Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Falls have also resulted in more than 3 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 850,000 hospitalizations and more than 29,000 deaths.

Falling is not a normal part of aging. You can prevent falls by doing the right exercises, making your home safer, getting regular health checkups, and more. Learn steps you can take to stay safe.

Check to see if you’re at risk of falling with NCOA’s Falls Free CheckUp tool.

 

 

 

This falls risk screen is endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is part of the CDC’s Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) Resources for health care professionals and consumers.

This screen was developed by the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs (VA) Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center and affiliates and is a validated fall risk self-assessment tool (Rubenstein et al. J Safety Res; 2011: 42(6)493-499).

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your falls risk and/or your medical conditions.

 

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease affecting dopamine producing cells in the brain. Dopamine is primarily responsible for controlling movement and emotional response. As Parkinson’s progresses and the brain produces less dopamine, individuals will experience various symptoms.

Symptoms related to movement can include tremor (shaking), bradykinesia (slowness of movement), rigidity and balance problems. Non-movement symptoms can include depression, anxiety and problems with sleep. Symptoms progress differently for everyone. There is no cure for PD, but treatments and expert care can significantly improve quality of life.

Most people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their 60s. About four percent of people are diagnosed before ago 50—this is called Young-Onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD).

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease affecting dopamine producing cells in the brain. Dopamine is primarily responsible for controlling movement and emotional response. As Parkinson’s progresses and the brain produces less dopamine, individuals will experience various symptoms.

Symptoms related to movement can include tremor (shaking), bradykinesia (slowness of movement), rigidity and balance problems. Non-movement symptoms can include depression, anxiety and problems with sleep. Symptoms progress differently for everyone. There is no cure for PD, but treatments and expert care can significantly improve quality of life.

Most people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their 60s. About four percent of people are diagnosed before ago 50—this is called Young-Onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD).

 

How caregivers can help support a Parkinson’s diagnosis

Caring for a person with progressive disease can look different for everyone. Care partner responsibilities can include medication management, taking over financial decision-making, and helping a loved with the tasks of daily life.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging—it is a progressive brain disease. More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million.

Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s

Dementia is a general term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills, including judgment, reasoning, and complex motor skills. There are several dementia-related illnesses, and Alzheimer’s is one of them.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and accounts for 60–80% of dementia cases. It is a chronic disease that causes memory loss or difficulty thinking or problem-solving—to the point where it interferes with everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease can progress to the point where a person doesn’t remember their own family and might undergo a complete personality change.

Other types of dementia include:

  • Vascular dementia: A decline in memory and thinking skills brought on by blockage or reduction of blood flow to the brain that deprives the brain of oxygen and nutrients. Risk factors are similar to those for heart problems, stroke, and other diseases that affect blood vessels.
  • Lewy Body dementia (LBD): An umbrella term that refers to both Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies, which are protein deposits that develop in nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory, and movement.
  • Frontotemporal dementia (FTD): The Mayo Clinic describes FTD as a diverse group of uncommon disorders that primarily affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain—the areas generally associated with personality, behavior, and language.

These dementia-related illnesses are not a normal part of aging, and in order to limit your chances of getting dementia and/or to better manage the condition, it’s important to know the symptoms and the prevention techniques that are most effective.