The true complexity of the body and its functions is rarely as appreciable as it is with diseases such as Parkinson’s. Caused by decreased dopamine production in the brain, this disease most notably manifests with slowed and rigid movements. Given the many roles of dopamine, however, it is little surprise that Parkinson’s disease is much more than a movement disorder.
Moving at a New Pace
The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s are a loss of natural movements. This is often first noticed in the face of sufferers, which can take on a “mask-like” appearance. Loss of balance and a slowed, shuffling walk are also key symptoms. Speech may take on a similarly slowed or hesitant manor. Many seniors with Parkinson’s also develop tremors, particularly of the hands, which can make writing difficult or impossible. Seniors will likely need assistance, at least on a part-time basis, and Annapolis 24 hour care will likely be needed in the later stages for careful monitoring and around the clock support.
Seniors and older adults living with Parkinson’s often find that other functions of the body may also struggle to move along as usual, making troubles such as swallowing and constipation common. Sleep problems, pain and excess fatigue are some of the other changes that may accompany Parkinson’s disease.
Emotional and Cognitive Changes
Although the pathways most effected by Parkinson’s are those controlling movement, changing dopamine levels can also impact other aspects of brain functioning. While memory and thinking problems tend to develop in the later stages of Parkinson’s disease, depression and other mood disorders can be a common early complication. Fortunately, anti-depressive medications can be helpful in easing these symptoms.
At Home Care Assistance of Annapolis, we understand how the disease can impact Parkinson’s patients and also offer our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an in-home wellness program that uses fun and stimulating brain games and activities to boost cognitive functioning, brain health and mental acuity. And because the games are carried out between the caregiver and their client on a one-to-one basis, the program also promotes socialization, engagement and feelings of self-esteem.
When Medication Is Just Not Enough…
Most medications used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease help increase the amount of dopamine in the brain and provide relief from movement disorder symptoms. It is important to note that these drugs are usually highly effective for several years but the effects tend to wear-off over time. Additional treatments, such as occupational and physical therapy can greatly enhance the ability to cope with the long-term effects of Parkinson’s. Further therapies such as yoga and Tai Chi have been shown to be effective in helping with flexibility, balance and muscle relaxation, all of which are essential in treating Parkinson’s disease.
Social contact and emotional support can also be key for enhancing quality of life, particularly when living with Parkinson’s. Seniors should consider joining a support group, taking up art or pet therapy and keeping active with friends. Although it may be at a slower pace and gentler rhythm than it once was, exercise is vital to the management of Parkinson’s symptoms and makes for a great group activity.
Getting Help with Parkinson’s Care
If you have an aging parent or loved one who is living with Parkinson’s, help ensure their comfort, safety and independence with help from a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance of Annapolis. Our caregivers are highly trained and specialize in Parkinson’s care in Annapolis, and can assist with a wide range of activities from nutritious meal preparation and help with mobility to medication reminders and transportation. Provide your loved one with the advanced care they need and deserve and call 443-302-2771 to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. We offer flexible hourly and live-in care with no long-term contracts and all of our services come back with a 100% satisfaction guarantee!