Symptoms Archives - Morris Hall, PLLC

Parkinsons Disease - Symptoms, Treatments and the Legal Needs

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Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder (Alzheimer's being the first), and primarily affects individuals over 50 years of age. Parkinson's is a progressive disease where the symptoms can be minor in the beginning and often progress to a point where they become debilitating.

Parkinson's has received a recent increase in attention due to a handful of well-known celebrities that have suffered with the disease; including Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali.

Common Signs and Symptoms

The three most common signs and symptoms of Parkinson's are as follow:

- Resting tremor
Occurs in about 70% of persons with Parkinson 's disease. This generally begins as a slight tremor or trembling in one side of the body when the muscles are at rest. This later progresses onto the other side of the body and worsens with time.

Bradykinesia
Slow and often incomplete movements, generally combined with a sensation of muscle "freezing" where the muscle seems to freeze in place before or during a voluntary movement.

Rigidity
Also referred to as increased muscle tone. Rigidity creates a stiffness or inflexibility of the muscle, often resulting in stiff limbs and a decreased range of motion.

While those diagnosed with Parkinson's may have additional symptoms, such as stooped posture, fatigue, difficulty with swallowing and speech, the four listed above are the most common and recognizable.

Prevention and Treatment

Even amidst growing awareness, knowledge of treatments and preventions is surprisingly primitive. A small percentage of cases can be attributed to genetic influence, but the majority of cases are not genetic based. Your odds of getting Parkinson 's disease increase as you get older, if you have ongoing exposure to herbicides and pesticides, and if you are male.

Currently there is no cure for Parkinson 's disease, although there are several treatments that can minimize the symptoms and slow the disease's progression. Treatment options range from medication and various forms of therapy to surgery, depending upon the severity of the case and the response to prior treatment. These treatment options can show strong positive effects on some of the symptoms and can slow the disease's progression.

What to Do Now?

If you or a loved one are suffering from Parkinson's Disease, there are some important steps to take.

1. See your physician for an official diagnosis. Be sure to ask questions and get as much information as you can from your practitioner.

2. Make a plan for the future that entails who will serve as a caretaker; would in-home assistance or a nursing home be preferred; how to pay for care; who to designate for important legal, financial and healthcare decisions.

3. Get all legal affairs in order.

Getting Legal Affairs in Order

Since Parkinson's is a progressive disease, functioning capabilities continue to deteriorate. Because of this, it is imperative that steps are taken early on to ensure that legal matters are in order and that future care in ensured. It is also important that one or more persons are selected to handle financial, medical, healthcare and other important decisions on the behalf of the individual suffering from Parkinson's.

Setting up a Power of Attorney (POA), Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) a Living Will and a HIPAA document are imperative. For superior protection of a loved one and their assets, a living trust should also be created. These various documents are crucial for ensuring that your loved one is taken care of and that trustworthy individuals are legally designated to handle important affairs.

Morris Hall (MH) has focused on estate planning for forty years and can help guide you and your loved one in the direction that will best help you prepare for the road ahead. Our attorneys and our life care specialists can help you with everything from legal planning, financial assistance, help for caregivers, additional resources and more.

Find out more information and schedule a free consultation by calling 888.222.1328 or visiting us online at Morristrust.com.

 

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

Dementia - What It Is and What To Do About It

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Dementia diseases are one of the most common and debilitating diseases for those over 60 years of age. In general, dementia is an irreversible and degenerative disease - meaning that it gets worse over time.

Dementia can lessen one's ability to process and retain information, problem-solve, complete multi-step tasks and can even cause changes in personality and unusual behavior. The risk of Dementia increases with age and is rarely seen in people under 60 years old.

There are various types of Dementia, with the most common being Alzheimer's disease. Other forms include Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Frontotemporal Dementia, Creutz-Jakob disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and a few others that are less common.

Common Signs and Symptoms

- Memory loss, especially affecting short-term memory
- Difficulties with language and communication
- Deteriorating cognitive skills (such as calculation, abstract thought, judgment)
- Getting lost at familiar places or on familiar routes
- Personality changes and diminishing social skills
- Loss of interest in favorite hobbies and activities
- Difficulty with common and familiar tasks
- Poor judgment, especially worrisome in dangerous situations

Prevention and Treatment

So far, knowledge on the treatment, cause and prevention of dementia is very limited. Currently there is no cure and no definitive known cause. Some treatments are available which target the specific symptoms of dementia, but most have shown minimal results. Treatments can also vary depending on the type of dementia.

As there is no known cause, methods of prevention are highly speculative. It is always recommended that one eat healthy, exercise and avoid habits that negatively affect ones health in order to lesson the odds of later developing a wide variety of diseases, including Dementia.

What to Do Now?

If you or a loved one are suffering from any form of Dementia, there are some important steps to take.

1. See your physician for an official diagnosis. Be sure to ask questions and get as much information as you can from your practitioner.

2. Make a plan for the future that entails who will serve as a caretaker; would in-home assistance or a nursing home be preferred; how to pay for care; who to designate for important legal, financial and healthcare decisions.

3. Get all legal affairs in order.

Getting Legal Affairs in Order

During the course of Dementia, mental functioning continues to deteriorate, creating an ever increasing need for support and assistance. It is imperative that one or more persons are selected to handle financial, medical, healthcare and other important decisions on the behalf of the individual suffering from dementia.

Setting up a Power of Attorney (POA), Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) a Living Will and a HIPAA document are imperative. For superior protection of a loved one and their assets a living trust should also be created. These various documents are crucial for ensuring that your loved one is taken care of and that trustworthy individuals are legally designated to handle important affairs.

Morris Hall (MH) has focused on estate planning for forty years and can help guide you and your loved one in the direction that will best help you prepare for the road ahead. Our attorneys and our life care specialists can help you with everything from legal planning, financial assistance, help for caregivers, additional resources and more.

Find out more information and schedule a free consultation by calling 888.222.1328 or visiting us online at Morristrust.com.

 

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

Battling Cancer - Signs, Symptoms and the Legal Steps To Take

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Cancer is a very serious and common disease, affecting approximately 50% of men and 33% of women in the United States. Cancer occurs due to an abnormal growth of cells (malignancy), which can cause over 100 types of cancer.

Normal cells in the body multiply as needed and then die when they no longer serve a purpose. Cancer occurs when the growth of cells in the body goes out of control, with cells dividing too quickly and not dying when they are supposed to. Cancer cells can also invade other tissues, something which normal cells cannot do.

Cells become cancer cells due to damaged DNA. Normally, when DNA is damaged within a cell, the cell either repairs the damage or dies off. However, the cancer cell continues to make new and unneeded cells, all having the same damaged DNA as the first.

The most common forms of cancer in the United States are Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Melanoma, Colon and Rectal Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Thyroid Cancer and Leukemia. The most common and most deadly form of cancer is lung cancer, with more than 222,000 new cases in 2010.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Because each form of cancer varies in its signs and symptoms, the below list is a collection of the most common ones to be on alert for.

- Chills
- Fatigue
- Fever
- Pain
- Loss of appetite
- Malaise (general discomfort or uneasiness)
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- Coughing, difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Unusual bowel movements or bladder function
- Lumps or cysts (especially on the breasts), or other skin abnormalities
- Indigestion or trouble swallowing

Prevention and Treatment

Because there are so many varieties of cancer, the best method of prevention is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and avoid exposure to harmful substances. By limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding cigarette smoke and tobacco, reducing exposure to sun, radiation and toxic chemicals, your risk for cancer is dramatically reduced.

Depending on the stage and type of the cancer, treatment varies from surgical removal, medication, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination thereof. The earlier cancer is detected, the more likely it can be cured. Make certain to have regular check-ups with a doctor, reporting any changes or abnormalities in your body and functioning.

What to Do Now?

If you or a loved one are suffering from cancer, there are some important steps to take.

1. See your physician for an official diagnosis. Be sure to ask questions and get as much information as you can from your practitioner.2. Continue treatment plans prescribed by your doctors and specialists. Always ask questions and be willing to accept help from loved ones.

3. Make a plan for the future that entails, if needed, who will serve as a caretaker; would in-home assistance or a nursing home be preferred; how to pay for care; who to designate for important legal, financial and healthcare decisions.

4. Get all legal affairs in order.

Getting Legal Affairs in Order

The road to recovery can be a long one when battling cancer. Over time, various forms of functioning can deteriorate, creating a need for support and assistance. It is imperative that one or more persons are selected to handle financial, medical, healthcare and other important decisions on the behalf of the individual fighting against cancer.

Setting up a Power of Attorney (POA), Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) a Living Will and a HIPAA document are imperative. For superior protection of a loved one and their assets, a living trust should also be created. These various documents are crucial for ensuring that your loved one is taken care of and that trustworthy individuals are legally designated to handle important affairs.

Morris Hall (MH) has focused on estate planning for forty years and can help guide you and your loved one in the direction that will best help you prepare for the road ahead. Our attorneys and our life care specialists can help you with everything from legal planning, financial assistance, help for caregivers, additional resources and more.

Find out more information and schedule a free consultation by calling 888.222.1328 or visiting us online at Morristrust.com.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation. 
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