How does Parkinson's affect critical illness claims?

Published 26 Jan 2016

There are many disease affecting people around the country. In particularly severe cases, these afflictions will prevent them from being able to go to work and live a normal life.

In these situations, a critical illness claim could be the difference between have the necessary financial security to survive comfortably and struggling to pay rent or afford other daily goods.

Parkinson's disease is one example of the type of affliction that can render people incapable of working, often forcing them to retire before they are ready to.

What is Parkinson's?

Parkinson's is a disease which affects the functionality of the human brain, meaning it is classed as a neurodegenerative condition which is known to worsen drastically over time. While in the early onset of the disease people may still be able to work, as it worsens people often have to give up aspects of their livelihood.

On top of this, it doesn't always impact life expectancy. So, while people may be struggling with the debilitating effects of the illness, it doesn't necessarily shorten their life.

Chances are most people know someone who has contracted the disease, with Parkinson's New Zealand reporting that around one in every 500 people has the illness. This proportion increases substantially for older citizens.

What causes Parkinson's to develop?

The symptoms of the disease are caused by a lack of dopamine in the human brain, but little is known about what causes this in the first place. While researchers are aware of how the brain develops following a successful diagnosis, there has been little progress in preventing it from developing.

As researchers are unaware of the conditions that cause Parkinson's to develop, there is no cure for it at this stage. However, in many cases doctors can treat the symptoms to alleviate some of the suffering.

How do the symptoms prevent people from working?

Due to the disease's effect on the brain, people gradually lose various functions, an event that can be distressing for the individual and their family.

Parkinson's Australia noted that the disease can significantly reduce people's mobility. Depending on the role they perform, this can be one of the defining features of critical illness claims.

Over time, the disease can also erode communicative abilities, adding further stress to people's lives. Again, this fact can limit people's ability to perform their job as intended.

To discuss a critical illness claim with the lawyers and Gerard Malouf and Partners, contact the team today.

Extract: Of all the critical illnesses Australians can develop, Parkinson’s can be one of the most debilitating. What do people need to know?

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