Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that affects many people worldwide, most of them over the age of 50. It is classified as a progressive degenerative disease, meaning that its symptoms worsen over time. Although the onset of symptoms is usually slow and subtle, for some individuals symptoms may appear suddenly and rapidly worsen.
One of the most typical symptoms of Parkinson’s is shaking, or tremor, of the hands, face, and limbs; the vast majority of people with the disorder will suffer from tremors to some degree. Although they may be barely perceptible at first, these tremors often increase in severity over time. Shaking that was once very mild can eventually worsen to the point that it interferes with everyday activities. Imagine trying to dial a phone number, lift a fork to your mouth, or button a shirt when your hands arms are shaking uncontrollably—for people with Parkinson’s, even the simplest tasks can become a major challenge.
In addition to the primary symptoms of Parkinson’s, all of which directly impact movement, many people with the disease will suffer from a host of other symptoms. Psychiatric symptoms, such as depression and other emotional disturbances, are common among people with Parkinson’s. As well as the situational depression that may result from a dramatic change in ability and independence, Parkinson’s can affect the brain chemistry of its sufferers in a way that makes them more susceptible to depression. Chewing, swallowing, and speaking are often difficult for people with Parkinson’s, as control of the voluntary muscles of the mouth and throat decline. This can be extremely frustrating as well as potentially dangerous, as choking, dehydration, and malnutrition can result. Urinary problems and constipation, in addition to skin problems such as dry skin and dandruff, can also lead to decreased quality of life for those with Parkinson’s disease. Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, excessive sleepiness during the day, and sleepwalking can also occur in people with Parkinson’s.
Edison Home Health Care is happy to assist you or a loved one interested in home care services for Parkinson’s related care. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.