Home Care in Aurora, IL: April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, Learn How Home Care Can Help!

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is just like a group of disorders called motor system disorders, which are the result of the decrease in dopamine-producing brain cells.

The four primary symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or weakened balance and coordination.

As these warning signs become more definite, patients may have difficulties walking, talking, or completing other simple chores.

Parkinson’s disease usually impacts people over the age of 50.  Initial problems of PD are faint and occur steadily.  In some people the disease advances more rapidly than in others.  

As the disease advances, the shaking, or tremor, which affects the majority of PD patients may begin to hamper with day to day activities.  Other indicators may include depression and other emotional changes; difficulty in swallowing, chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems; and sleep disruptions.  

There are at the moment no blood or laboratory tests that have been proved to support in diagnosing sporadic Parkinson’s disease.  As a result the diagnosis is based on medical history and a neurological examination.  

The disease can be tricky to diagnose properly.   Medical professionals may occasionally get brain scans or laboratory tests in order to rule out other diseases.

Is there any treatment?
At present, there is no cure for PD, but a variety of medications give remarkable comfort from the indicators.  

Elder Care and Treatment
In early stages, Parkinson’s disease may not drastically interrupt your life. But for plenty of people, the disease becomes more disabling over time. Elder Care can aid patients as they become adjusted, and as the disease advances. This of course, assists them to stay independent for as long as possible. The quality of their life may rely in part on their ability to keep on working, take care of a home, care for their family, and remain independent. They may want adaptive devices such as canes or walkers as the disease takes its toll.

Elements of Home Care that are significant for a person with Parkinson’s Disease include:

•       Changing their activities and their family home, including streamlining their day to day activities and modifying the location of furniture so that they can hold something as they move about the house.

•       Eating healthy foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, legumes, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.

•       Exercising and doing physical therapy, which has benefits in both early and advanced stages of the illness.

•       Dealing with tremor, which may include putting a little weight on the hand to help reduce tremor and restore control.

•       Improving speech quality by working with a speech therapist (also called a speech-language pathologist).

•       Reducing problems with eating and drooling by changing how and what they eat.

•       Dealing with “freezing” by various means, such as stepping towards a specific target on the ground.

•       Dealing with depression. If they are feeling sad or depressed, ask a friend or family member for help. If these feelings don’t go away, or if they get worse, talk to their doctor. He or she may be able to suggest someone for you to talk to or give them medicine that will help.

•       Dealing with dementia. Dementia is common late in Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms may include confusion and memory loss. If a family member notices that they are confused a lot or have trouble thinking clearly, talk to their doctor. There are medicines that can help dementia in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Home Care counselors at Safe at Home Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care, including live-in care. We are an elder care agency providing Home Care in Aurora.