Understanding Parkinson’s-Induced Psychosis: Symptoms & Causes

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While most people realize that seniors with Parkinson’s disease experience certain physical challenges, many don’t know a small percentage of those seniors also develop cognitive symptoms. If you’re a caregiver for an elderly loved one who has Parkinson’s psychosis, it’s important to become familiar with some of the basic information about this cognitive symptom of Parkinson’s disease to ensure your loved one’s safety and wellbeing. Here are some of the symptoms and causes of the condition. 

 

Symptoms

The most common symptom of psychosis among seniors with Parkinson’s is visual hallucinations, though some may also experience auditory ones. Occasionally, sudden changes in the environment can also lead to brief episodes of delirium and disorientation. While these hallucinations may increase in frequency and severity over time, many seniors are able to recognize the hallucinations aren’t real and are relatively unperturbed by them. Typically, mild symptoms, such as minor visual hallucinations, don’t require treatment. 

Many people with Parkinson’s can live at home, but they may need assistance from family members or other caregivers to do so safely. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading homecare agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

 

Primary Cause

While Parkinson’s medications can frequently relieve many motor symptoms, they can also sometimes cause psychological problems. As these medications treat motor symptoms such as muscle tremors by releasing dopamine in the brain, sometimes an excess of this critical neurotransmitter will trigger hallucinations or other psychotic symptoms. If you suspect Parkinson’s medications are negatively affecting your loved one’s mental health, contact his or her physician to ask if your loved one is able to switch to a new prescription. 

If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Naples, FL, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. Our home caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

 

Secondary Causes

Infection, insomnia, and high stress levels can also cause symptoms of psychosis, and urinary tract infections and dehydration are particularly common causes of psychosis among seniors with Parkinson’s. Often, treating the underlying cause of the psychosis relieves its symptoms, so maintaining regular blood monitoring and other physical examinations can ensure infections are detected early on. Likewise, monitoring your loved one’s sleep and dietary habits and reporting them to the doctor can also help you spot problems. If you believe your loved one may be experiencing hallucinations or other symptoms of psychosis, the best thing to do is contact his or her physician as soon as possible. 

Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care. Naples families can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.