Three Things Parkinson’s Patients Need and Ways that Home Care Services Can Help
Affecting about one million American adults, Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder caused by the dying off of dopamine producing brain cells. As the disease progresses, patients will have difficulty completed simple tasks. Even walking and talking can be a challenge. Home care services can help provide the three things that a patient with Parkinson’s needs.
There are four primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD):
- Tremors or trembling in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face
- Stiffness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk
- Bradykinesia which is the slowness of movements
- Postural instability resulting in impaired balance and coordination
The disease presents differently in each individual making it a bit more challenging to find the right treatment. Certain medications may respond to symptoms differently in each person. Therefore, treatment often takes on a trial and error approach.
Being an in-home care provider to an elder with Parkinson’s requires patience as you will have to accept the fact that they will have their good days and bad days. The most frustrating thing for a person with PD is the lack of control that they have over their body movement.
3 key things that a person with Parkinson’s will need are:
- A good doctor – This doesn’t always mean that the doctor with the most impressive credentials is going to be a good doctor. A good doctor is someone who will listen to the patient and the caregiver and be able to accurately assess the situation. They also need to be able to respond to person’s constantly changing condition.
- A support group – It helps to talk to others who are facing similar challenges and hear how they cope. It’s nice to feel that you aren’t alone and that there are others who truly understand your pain and frustration.
- Exercise – This may be the last thing on your mind but regular exercise has been shown to help those with Parkinson’s to move easier. Walking, riding a bike, yoga and dance classes are a good way to get moving.
Having a loving caregiver makes a big difference to a person who has Parkinson’s. Some who provide home care services find it a struggle to know when they are helping and when they are enabling a person with PD. Encourage them to do what they can on their own and offer assistance for the daily activities they have trouble with.