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All Posts Tagged: advice

Ways to Deal with the Stress of Parkinson’s Patients

Ways to deal with the stress of Parkinson'sParkinson’s is a progressive degenerative disease of the nervous system. In its initial stages, it primarily affects movement, with sufferers experiencing body tremors, stiffness, slowness of movement, stooped posture, impaired balance, and changes in everything from facial expression to handwriting. As it progresses, psychiatric symptoms such as depression and sleep disturbances, as well as digestive, urinary, and skin problems, are also common.

For formerly able-bodied, independent individuals, Parkinson’s symptoms can take a psychological, as well as physical, toll. Adjusting to a progressive loss of bodily function and autonomy can be extremely stressful, adding to the difficulty of dealing with the disease and exacerbating symptoms. For individuals with Parkinson’s, as well as for their caregivers and loved ones, dealing with this stress is an important way to promote quality of life.

One way of dealing with stress is allowing the person with Parkinson’s to remain proactive in their own care. Encouraging them to make decisions for long-term care while they are still relatively independent can give them a sense of greater self-determination, and reduce worries about a complete loss of control over their life as the disease progresses. Facilitating independent living by adapting the living environment to changing abilities is another great way to ease the transition to greater disability. Making adjustments in the home to ease tasks like meal preparation and bathing, and to make moving around safer for someone with compromised walking ability, is a great way to help someone with Parkinson’s stay in the comfort of their home for as long as possible.

In addition to promoting independence for as long as is appropriate, there are many other ways for people with Parkinson’s to reduce their stress. Spending time outdoors and engaging in moderate exercise (as physical condition allows) are powerful ways to encourage a sense of wellbeing and alleviate stress. Taking part in favorite hobbies and maintaining an active social life are also tremendously beneficial. Some Parkinson’s sufferers find Parkinson’s support groups helpful, as they allow people to share worries, fears, and coping strategies in a safe and supportive environment with people who understand the challenges they are facing first-hand.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for Parkinson problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

General Home Care New York

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Five Different Stages of Parkinson’s

Five stages of ParkinsonsParkinson’s is a degenerative disease of the nervous system that causes problems with movement. The majority of people who suffer from Parkinson’s are over the age of 50 when symptoms first appear. Because it is a progressive disease, Parkinson’s gets worse over time.

Parkinson’s progresses in five commonly recognized stages, each with its own characteristic symptoms. In the first stage of the disease, symptoms such as tremor (shaking), changes in posture or movement, and altered facial expressions are typical. These early symptoms are usually mild, and may appear on only one side of the body. Although they may be annoying or embarrassing, early Parkinson’s symptoms are usually not disabling.

In the second stage of the disease, symptoms may appear on both sides of the body, and be more serious, causing minor difficulties with everyday activities. Posture may become more stooped and a shuffling gait may develop. Although symptoms at this point often slow someone down, they don’t usually pose an impediment to independent living.

Third-stage Parkinson’s is characterized by greater difficulty walking or standing, as posture and balance are further compromised. Noticeably slow movement (also called bradykinesia) may also develop during this stage of the disease. At this point, everyday tasks become more challenging, and the person may need moderate assistance with activities of daily living such as meal preparation and bathing.

For Parkinson’s sufferers experiencing the fourth stage of the disease, symptoms such as slowness of movement, postural instability, and stiffness of the limbs are severe, although tremor may become slightly less pronounced. Chewing, swallowing, and speaking may be difficult. Walking may still be possible, but may be much more challenging, and require assistance. People in this stage of Parkinson’s can no longer live independently, requiring in-home care or transition to an assisted living facility.

In the fifth and final stage of Parkinson’s, patients are unable to stand or walk, and often display weight loss and deterioration of muscle mass. People in this stage of Parkinson’s require round-the clock-care.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for Parkinson problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

General Home Care New York

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The first thing to do to suit the needs of Parkinson’s Patients

The first thing to do to suit the needs of Parkinson’s Patients

The first thing to do to suit the needs of Parkinson’s PatientsFor people with Parkinson’s disease, many everyday activities become more of a challenge as abilities decline. The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s, such as tremor, stiffness, impaired balance, difficulty walking, and postural instability, all contribute to the difficulty of independently carrying out activities of daily living, such as meal preparation, household chores, getting dressed, and bathing. Fortunately, adapting the living environment to the changing abilities and needs of someone with Parkinson’s disease can increase their comfort, safety, and quality of life, as well as helping them to preserve independence for as long as possible.

If you’ve ever had an injury or illness (and everyone has!) you know how something like a sprained ankle or a bad cold can interfere with everyday tasks: going up and down stairs, working in the garden, or making yourself understood over the phone, for example. Now imagine living with Parkinson’s disease, the symptoms of which profoundly affect a person’s mobility, coordination, and mental and emotional state. The degeneration that occurs as a result of Parkinson’s can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening for those suffering from the disease, as well as for their loved ones and caregivers. Especially in the bathroom, as intimate of a space as there is, being unable to perform basic self-care can take a toll. However, with careful planning and attention to detail, the bathroom of a person living with Parkinson’s can be adapted to allow them maximum safety, privacy, and comfort.

The first steps in adjusting the living space to suit the needs of someone with Parkinson’s are also the most basic. Making sure that personal care items—toilet paper, soap, lotions, toothbrushes, denture cleaners, and combs—are in easy reach is essential. Make sure that everything is accessible, without the need to stoop, bend, or reach overhead. Installing easy-to-grasp pulls and handles on cabinets and drawers can be very helpful. Because soap is slippery and easily dropped, trying a bar of soap inside a length of nylon stocking and tying it to a grab bar in the shower is a good idea. As Parkinson’s progresses and people have more trouble walking and keeping their balance, grab bars placed in showers or tubs and near toilets and sinks are a safety necessity. Make sure that bath mats are non-slip to prevent falls, and install a shower seat or a non-slip mat in the shower. As a person’s cognitive abilities deteriorate, it can also be helpful to provide safety reminders, such as a piece of red tape on the “hot” tap, and a piece of blue tape to signal “cold.”

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for Parkinson problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

General Home Care New York

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