Impulse Control Issues Associated with Parkinson’s Disease

Why Should Your Elderly Loved One Own Fewer Things in Oshkosh, WI

Although many people are aware of the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, there are other symptoms that are discussed less frequently. One of the most concerning is how Parkinson’s can cause seniors to engage in impulsive behaviors, often resulting from medications taken to combat the condition. Here are a few of these impulses and tips on how to alleviate the behavioral issues. 

Prescription Drug Abuse

Many seniors diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are prescribed either levodopa or carbidopa. These two forms of medication can amplify obsessive behavior and cause seniors to become fixated on increasing their dosage. This unhealthy behavior, known as dopamine dysregulation syndrome, generally affects around 4 percent of seniors who take these medications. You can help your loved one prevent this issue by regularly meeting with his or her doctor to discuss impulses or addictive urges. 

Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Compulsive Shopping

Many seniors have careless spending habits, but this type of behavior can be especially concerning for those who have Parkinson’s. In some cases, this issue is the result of aggressive selling tactics designed specifically to take advantage of elderly people. However, if compulsive shopping becomes especially problematic for your loved one, you might need to take charge of his or her finances. 


Pathological gambling affects around 5 percent of seniors with Parkinson’s disease. If the gambling addiction is caught early, it can often be addressed with a comprehensive therapy program. However, as the pathological gambling and Parkinson’s both progress, a doctor might recommend the use of antidepressants or antipsychotics to suppress the urges. 

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Oshkosh, WI, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Senior Stride Home Care. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Sexual Addiction

Hypersexuality is one of the most common impulse control disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease, affecting around 3.5 percent of adults with the condition. This symptom leads to an increase in sexual behavior that has an adverse effect on the senior’s life. While there’s no known cure for hypersexuality, some studies have shown altering Parkinson’s medications can reduce the urges. As with other impulse disorders, an early diagnosis followed by therapy can be helpful in curbing unhealthy sexual behavior. 

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of in-home care Oshkosh, Wisconsin, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at 920-717-1767 today.

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