Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common nervous system disorders. It may result in lack of coordination and shaking, and difficulty swallowing and speaking. However, the good news is that individuals with Parkinson’s disease can still live well with the support of a caretaker.
Professional Caretakers can be that support. Providing proper nutrition, help with daily activities, exercise, and keeping your loved ones safe in their own home all are part of our in-home care services.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is one of a larger group of neurological conditions known as motor system disorders. It is a progressive, degenerative disorder of the nervous system. Symptoms vary from tremor and involuntary movement to rigidity and immobility. As the disease continues to progress, the motor control of the patient diminishes, impairing swallowing and speech, and increasing the risk of injuries caused by falling.
Nerve cells in the normal brain produce the chemical dopamine that transmits signals inside the brain to produce the muscles’ smooth movement. In patients with Parkinson’s, 80% or more of these dopamine-producing cells are dead, damaged, or degenerated, which causes the nerve cells to misfire, leaving patients unable to control their emotions and movements.
Symptoms usually show up in one or more of four ways:
- Impaired balance and coordination or postural instability.
- Bradykinesia, or slowness of movement.
- Rigidity, or stiffness of trunk and limbs.
- Trembling in legs, arms, hands, jaws and face.
Though Parkinson’s disease can be disabling or crippling, experts say the disease’s early symptoms might be so gradual and subtle that sometimes patients ignore them or attribute them to the aging effects. In the beginning, patients may feel extremely tired, a little shaky or “down in the dumps”. Their speech might become soft and they may become irritable for no reason whatsoever. Movements may be unsteady, stiff, or unusually slow.
Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Treatments for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s vary depending on their symptoms. Some treatments and lifestyle changes that help manage Parkinson’s disease symptoms include:
- Daily exercise that increases balance or flexibility
- A healthy diet
- Surgical procedures
- Medications prescribed by a physician
In-Home Care Services for Parkinson’s Disease
Our caretakers can provide the steady, focused attention and care that’s required to support the changes in lifestyle that affect loved ones with Parkinson’s Disease. They can also assist in physical and speech therapies, and provide other support that’s critical in caring for patients with this illness, including:
- Preventing falls and helping with stairs, getting up and down from chairs or beds.
- Helping with grooming, bathing, feeding, and other tasks.
- Taking swallowing precautions with foods for clients who have difficulties
- Ensuring an upright posture when eating to reduce choking.
- Administering gastrostomy or feeding tubes for food and medications when needed for advanced cases.
For individuals with or caring for those with Parkinson’s Disease, a little extra help is sometimes needed. If you choose Professional Caretakers to help you, our skilled and trained caretakers will help deliver home care that helps monitor safety and manage symptoms, but independence is ensured where possible. Home care is all about living near family or loved ones, so we strive to take care of each and every one of our clients like family. It’s not just our skilled caretakers, it’s also that personal approach to home care that sets us apart.
Call 877-921-9500 or complete the form on the right to get in touch and see how we can help provide the best care for your loved one.