Individuals with Parkinson's disease can consider Life Insurance for the same reasons that any other person may do. Protecting your family from funeral expenses, mortgage repayments and general maintenance of lifestyle, are all factors that can contribute to the reasons for purchasing Life Insurance when you have Parkinson's disease. Having Parkinson's disease does not usually give you a shorter life span, but for many it does bring home the realisation of how fragile and unpredictable life can be.
You can still apply for Life Insurance if you have Parkinson's disease but you are likely to pay a higher policy premium than someone without the condition. The increase in the premium you will pay will be dependent upon the insurance provider you choose, the amount of benefit you require, the term you have chosen, and the severity of your symptoms.
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Critical Illness Cover
Critical Illness Cover is available with some insurers on the standard market, depending upon the severity of the condition. The insurer will want to see a report from your GP to confirm your overall health, diagnosis of the Parkinson's disease, treatments in use and how the condition affects your daily living. You may be asked if you are still allowed to hold a UK driving license and if you require the use of mobility aids. Any offer of Critical Illness Cover you are given will come with an exclusion for claims related to Parkinson's disease and may have an increased premium.
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At the present time there are no insurance providers who are able to offer Income Protection if you have Parkinson's disease. You may be eligible for an Accident, Sickness and Unemployment policy but you will not be covered for anything linked to your condition. We would recommend that you speak to a qualified insurance adviser before taking out cover, so that they can explain what is covered and what is not.
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Parkinson's disease is a condition that you cannot forget about or pretend is not there. For the sufferer the tremors can be a constant reminder of the condition. Even if the tremors are not visible to those around them, the individual will constantly be aware of internal tremors that are happening. With the correct medications a person with Parkinson's disease can live a full and active life. However, it is essential that medication is taken at very precise times during the day to ensure that the medication is working to its best.
Individuals with the condition can sometimes appear disorientated, be slurring their words and stumbling, if their medication is not regularly monitored and updated with the illness' progression. Simple things such as understanding pedestrian crossings, choosing between a cup of tea or a coffee, and leaving the house without an alarm and box full of medication, can be daily difficulties faced by an individual with Parkinson's disease. People with Parkinson's disease have to adapt their lives to a cycle of medication, with their daily routine often set onto a 4 hourly cycle of medication.
Some examples of problems experienced by individuals who have Parkinson's disease include
- Uncontrollable body tremors
- Seizing up of joints (rigidity)
- Slowness of movements (bradykinesia)
- Sleep apnea and extreme fatigue
- Loss of facial expressions and struggle swallowing
- Extreme compulsive behaviour e.g. gambling, shopping, eating etc.
- Fine movement problems e.g. cutting up food, writing, fastening buttons etc.
- Loss of smell (anosmia)
- Continence issues