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All Posts Tagged: caregiver

Support Groups for Parkinson’s Patients

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Parkinson’s is a chronic, degenerative disease that has symptoms of impaired mobility, body tremors, stiffness of the limbs and torso, difficulty balancing, and fatigue. These symptoms are most severe in the mid and late stages of the disease. Progressiveness of the disease varies tremendously from person to person and treatment should be tailored to meet an individual’s needs. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s, managing symptoms can help improve a patient’s quality of life.

Education is the first step in living well with disease. Organizations dedicated to Parkinson’s provide a variety of resources with tips on medication, non-motor symptoms, and coping techniques. Movement disorder specialists usually offer supplemental materials to keep on hand such as treatment pamphlets. Research to find out if there is a local Chronic Disease Self Management Program; an organization established by Stanford University that offers weekly educational sessions for Parkinson’s patients. Support groups can also be rich sources of knowledge; connecting with other patients can offer new insights on treating symptoms and can enhance the learning curve.

In addition to being an educational source, support groups provide patients with much needed encouragement. Although loved ones and caregivers play a vital role in a patient’s life, connecting with others who struggle with the challenges of living with Parkinson’s can alleviate feelings of isolation. Remaining active and social can help ward off depression and promote emotional health. Above all, finding meaning in activities outside the home can help Parkinson’s sufferers to achieve a sense of purpose and balance that will help them cope with the challenges of the disease.

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

Parkinson Home Care New York

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Understanding Your Limits with Parkinson’s

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Parkinson’s disease creates many challenges for its sufferers. It is a progressive disease, meaning that symptoms worsen over time. Physical symptoms include tremors and shaking, difficulty walking and balancing, fatigue, compromised coordination and motor skills, and rigidity of the trunk and limbs. While these symptoms are very common, affecting a majority of people with the disease, the way they appear and progress can vary tremendously between individuals. For example, severe tremors may immediately affect one patient while another may not even experience tremors. Due to the unpredictable progression of the disease, it’s important for patients, caregivers, and loved ones to pay keen attention to individual symptoms.

Certain symptoms may be mild enough to allow patients to continue performing daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation, unassisted in the early stages. Other tasks that once were managed easily may become extremely difficult or dangerous. High-risk activities include driving or performing strenuous chores. Once symptoms have set-in, it essential to understand the patient’s level of ability. Although it is difficult for many Parkinson’s sufferers to adjust to the loss of independence, safety should always be the primary concern.

For caregivers, it is challenging to assist someone who is facing a loss of physical ability and an increase in dependence. Ease the patient’s stress by allowing them to be actively involved in decisions about their care. Take the time to explain changes in roles in an empathetic manner. Also, allow patients to continue to participate in safe activities and household tasks as much as their condition will tolerate. Small efforts such as these will help patients maintain a sense of purpose, and will ease the transition from full independence to greater reliance on others.

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

Parkinson Home Care New York

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Transitioning to Dependence with Parkinson’s

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Individuals with Parkinson’s disease are faced with a variety of physical and psychological health challenges in their daily lives. Parkinson’s cognitive symptoms can include depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, confusion, and dementia. Parkinson’s physical symptoms may include shaking, tremors, difficulty walking, compromised balance, fatigue, stiffness, rigidity of the limbs and torso. These symptoms are progressive, and worsen overtime. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there are a number of ways in which loved ones and caregivers can make life more manageable for people who suffer from the disease.

One of the most difficult aspects of Parkinson’s is the transition from independence to dependence. Individuals rely heavily on family members, friends, and caregivers as the disease progresses. Activities that once were easy – such as driving, writing, doing laundry, cooking, and dressing – can become tedious. Patients may feel helpless and insecure admitting that they need help. A loss of independence can affect their sense of purpose, identity, and self-worth. Ensure you are sensitive to the patient’s loss of independence and assuring them that it is favorable to ask for assistance when needed.

While those in the early stages of Parkinson’s may insist living independently, there are tasks such as driving or cleaning that could be too dangerous or difficult for them to do on their own. Caregivers and loved ones can help by involving the person with Parkinson’s in their own care, giving them choices, and finding ways to let them help. Above all, patience and flexibility is the key as everyone adjusts to an altered lifestyle.

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

Parkinson Home Care New York

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Understanding the Symptoms of Parkinson’s

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Parkinson’s disease has a variety of effects that can make life very challenging for its sufferers. Compromised mobility is the hallmark of the disease, which results from the death of nerve cells in the brain that are vital to the regulation of movement. Parkinson’s is a chronic, progressive disease, meaning that it worsens over time. There is currently no treatment or cure for Parkinson’s. There is, however, ways to manage the of symptoms and promote quality of life for patients.

Physical symptoms include: tremors (shaking of the limbs, extremities and face); stiffness and rigidity of the arms, legs, and torso; slowness of movement; and compromised balance and coordination. Symptoms such as these often appear early in the progression of the disease. Perform everyday tasks such as writing, driving, preparing meals, cleaning, and bathing become much more difficult with the symptoms. Certain symptoms may progress more quickly for some people than for others. For example, while one person may experience tremors early on, another person may find difficulty balancing and walking to be their primary symptom. Individual symptoms may progress relatively quickly or slowly; the debilitating aspects of the disease may appear all at once or gradually over time.

In addition to challenges with movement, Parkinson’s sufferers may experience other, non-motor symptoms. These include: loss of sense of smell, fatigue, depression, constipation, and sleep problems. Parkinson’s may also lead to difficulty processing information and communicating. Some patients may experience confusion and dementia could develop in later stages. Working closely with physicians, health care providers, and family members to determine a treatment plan that addresses each individual’s experience is imperative. A smart and well planned approach to symptom management can be extremely beneficial for patients and caregivers.

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

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Pacing Yourself with Parkinson’s

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Parkinson’s disease effects many body systems and produces various symptoms. Psychiatric symptoms can range from sleep problems to severe depression. Physical symptoms include body tremors, mobility challenges, and fatigue. Performing daily tasks that once were second nature, such as meal preparation or dressing, can become major challenges as the disease progresses. Promoting independence despite these difficulties can boost patient’s mood and quality of life.

A major challenge those suffering from Parkinson’s face is fatigue. Even the simplest of tasks can be extremely taxing on patients. To prevent excessive fatigue, Parkinson’s patients should have a strategic plan for their activities in order to conserve energy. Scheduling activities for times when they will have more energy and spacing events at intervals throughout the day will efficiently allocate their strength. Planning an abundant amount of rest periods – before, after, or even during activities – is often very helpful. Modifying activities to make them less strenuous and allowing more time to complete tasks can also conserve energy. Another helpful tip to follow is allowing at least 20 minutes of rest after meals. One of the most important things a patient can do for themselves is ask for help. Family, friends, and caregivers can assist with chores that are too strenuous to complete on your own.

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for Parkinson’s sufferers. Make the most of sleep by avoiding naps during the day, which can make it more difficult to sleep at night. Patients should sleep with their head elevated in a comfortable temperature. Proper sleep at night will allow the body to rest and recovery in order to optimize your daytime energy levels.

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

Parkinson Home Care New York

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