Parkinson’s disease presents many challenges for patients and their families. The physical symptoms of Parkinson’s can have a drastic impact on a person’s mobility and their ability to care for themselves. Tremors (shaking excessively), difficulty walking, and poor coordination are all common effects of Parkinson’s disease. Common psychiatric symptoms include depression, sleep disturbance, and dementia. These challenges can be minimized by making changes in a patient’s life and physical environment.
Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, the symptoms of which worsen over time. In the early stages, patients are often able to retain a degree of independence, cooking meals, bathing, dressing, and doing errands and chores on their own. As their symptoms worsen, however, people with Parkinson’s often require assistance performing tasks. It is important to take proactive steps in the early stages to ensure maximum safety and quality of life as the disease progresses.
One of the main risks for people with Parkinson’s is hazardous conditions inside their home. Since coordination and mobility is compromised, Parkinson’s patients are at a greater risk for tripping, falling, and running into objects. Patients and their caregivers must address potential hazards before injuries occur. Uneven surfaces – such as area rugs and thick carpets – present tripping hazards. Wood floors and thin carpeting are preferable, as many people with Parkinson’s develop a shuffling walk which makes trips more likely. Electrical cords, lamps, and other objects at floor level should be removed or secured to reduce the risk of falls. Sharp corners and protruding objects can also present a danger, and should be covered or removed. Fragile or delicate objects should be placed in a safe place where they can’t be easily knocked over. Grab bars to assist with mobility can be tremendously helpful, especially in bathrooms next to the toilet and bath tub. Taking these preventative steps will better ensure a safe home environment and allow people with Parkinson’s to enjoy greater a quality of life.
Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Parkinson’s disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.