Cerebral Palsy and Aging

When patients suffering from cerebral palsy grow older, they are forced to face many new challenges that weren’t present earlier. Although, cerebral palsy is considered to be non- progressive disorder, few secondary conditions and complications tend to arise along with cerebral palsy and aging gets worse such as internal distress, muscle tightness etc.

Studies have shown that people suffering from cerebral palsy encounter similar problems in older age if compared with non- disabled people. Adults with Cerebral palsy experienced negative effect during the process of aging such as unexpected declined in function and decreased energy level. Arthritis is one of the common conditions which are evident in people with Cerebral Palsy. The statistics shows that 40% of patient with CP suffer from arthritis.

Complication may not be obvious but the aging process itself has an impact. People with CP, as they get older, doing things take time such as walking, dressing themselves and even eating.  There are instances that they will need assistance in order to finish it. CP as they aged, slows down physical capability of the individual.

However, they might have to experience few secondary aging effects along. Below mentioned are the common problems faced by the older people having cerebral palsy:

  • Increase in the level of discomfort and pain.
  • Increased level of spasms
  • Pain as well as stiffness in the joints known as Osteoarthritis.
  • Facing joint problems
  • Loss in the flexibility of joints
  • Tightness of muscles
  • Increases level of back pain
  • Emergence of incontinence
  • Reduction of energy level and fatigue
  • Less efficient motor control
  • Digestive system problems

 

Exercise is considered to be one of the best mean of staying healthy and could be used as stress management while dealing with cerebral palsy and aging. However, if patient is suffering from severe condition of cerebral palsy then t might limit his/ her activities they could participate in. Fatigue, depression, falling accidents, involuntary movements and joint pain are the common problems experienced by the patients of cerebral palsy in their old age. Thus, all these problems tend to interfere with their daily activities and jobs. However, it is important that regardless of their condition, they should perform exercise and if they are not in the condition of doing it by themselves then help should be provided to them so they don’t end up exerting themselves and making their current condition much more complicated.

Socializing on the other hand also plays a major role in improving the overall condition of patients. Not only the patients having cerebral palsy but socializing plays a major role in  life of everyone whether its at school, college, office or at home. Mobility could be an issue with the patients that might interfere with socializing but wheelchairs or other useful items could be used to move from one place to another place without taking help from the outside.

A proper diet could also help in dealing with cerebral palsy and aging. A diet made up of higher amount of fiber and low in fat should be preferred to use by the patients. It would help patients to gain weight and get rid of constipation and get an increased level of energy. Fruits are generally rich in fibers, thus could be made a part of diet plan. In addition, meat, beans, fish, eggs and poultry is also rich with essential nutrients that could help patients deal with cerebral palsy and aging.

Therefore, the stress of both aging and cerebral palsy could be reduced drastically by maintaining a positive attitude with the help of supported environment from an outside.

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