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What are the measures to accommodate growing challenges of Parkinson's patients?

The measures to accommodate growing challenges of Parkinson’s patients

What are the measures to accommodate growing challenges of Parkinson's patients?Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes impaired movement, tremors, and a host of other symptoms in its sufferers. Most commonly diagnosed in people over 50, Parkinson’s disease usually appears with subtle manifestations and gets worse gradually over time, often progressing in stages. For the caregivers and loved ones of someone with Parkinson’s, it can be difficult to witness the decline in ability and increasing discomfort that accompanies the disease. However, there are many measures that can be taken to accommodate growing challenges and to preserve quality of life.

Attention to the living environment is essential in insuring the safety and comfort of someone with Parkinson’s disease. Because people with Parkinson’s often have compromised balance, unstable posture, poor coordination, and a shuffling gait, they are at high risk for tripping and falling. The use of walkers, canes, and wheelchairs is often helpful for mobility. Whether or not someone with uses these devices, however, care should be taken to minimize or eliminate obstacles that may pose a tripping hazard or prevent easy navigation of rooms with a walker or wheelchair. Area rugs, exposed electrical cords, raised thresholds between rooms, furniture, and lamps are some of the most common hazards for people with Parkinson’s. Make sure that furniture is placed so that someone in a wheelchair can easily move around it, that decorative items such as sculptures are placed out of the way, and that area rugs are removed or tacked down. Insuring that electrical cords are well out of the way is also essential.

In addition to preventing falls, adjusting the living environment for someone with Parkinson’s includes making sure that doors are easy to open, lights are easy to switch on, and personal items like soap and toilet paper are easy to access without having to reach for them. Replacing door-knobs with handles that are easier for someone with motor impairments to grasp, and insuring that lights can be accessed by someone in a wheelchair, are good steps to take. Sharp edges and corners in the home, such as on kitchen countertops, should be covered. In some cases, it can be helpful to attach pieces of rope or string to cupboard door handles to make them easier to open. Adapting the living environment to the needs of someone with Parkinson’s can increase their comfort and safety, as well as your ability to care for them with confidence and peace of mind.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to assist you or any loved one looking for home care services for Parkinson’s related care needs. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

Elder Care New York

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With Age Comes Extended Time to Fall Asleep

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It is very common for people over the age of 60 to get less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night. In fact, many older adults struggle with insomnia. Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling and staying asleep – taking longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep or waking frequently during the night.   

Sleep changes in older people are due to a number of factors. As people age, the circadian rhythm – the internal cycle often called the “biological clock” – shifts. Many older adults become tired earlier in the evening and wake earlier in the morning than they used to. This can be frustrating, as a new sleep cycle may conflict with social and work schedules. People who are not used to going to bed at an earlier time may have trouble falling asleep, even if they feel sleepy. In addition to changes in circadian rhythm, sleep architecture – the way in which the different stages of sleep are structured – also shifts as people get older. This means that, instead of extended periods of deep, restorative sleep, older people tend to spend more time in lighter stages of sleep, during which they are more susceptible to being woken by changes in the environment, such as noise or light.

In addition to biological changes in sleep architecture and circadian rhythm, older people may experience insomnia due to the ailments that often accompany aging. Chronic pain can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep; diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can also cause insomnia. Insomnia is also a very common side-effect of certain medications. Although it can be disruptive to daily life, insomnia is a completely normal part of aging. With the right approach, it can be managed to allow maximum quality of life.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for general assistance. 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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Understanding the Types and Symptoms of Arthritis

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Arthritis is the name given to a group of chronic disorders whose symptoms include pain, swelling, and limited range of motion in one or more joints. Arthritis can effect anyone but is most common in older adults. Arthritis may result from trauma, aging, infection, an auto-immune disease, genetics, or occupational injuries. Treatment options for arthritis include medication, exercise, physical therapy, and surgery. Understanding the various types of arthritis and the symptoms that accompany them can help you communicate with your health care professional to find the best treatment.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is caused by the wearing away of cartilage around the joint, causing bones in the joint to rub together. Although almost everyone will experience some degree of osteoarthritis after the age of 70, people who work in certain physically demanding jobs or play some sports are more susceptible. Osteoarthritis sufferers often experience stiffness (particularly in the morning) and loss of range of motion in addition to pain that is more severe after physical activity or certain types of movement.

Another  common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks healthy cells. Symptoms are usually experienced in the same joint on both sides of the body. The joints most often affected by rheumatoid arthritis are the fingers, wrists, knees, ankles, and feet. Pain, swelling, and compromised movement are all common in rheumatoid arthritis, as well as eventual deformity of the affected joints in more severe cases. More women than men have rheumatoid arthritis.

Gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs primarily in the joint at the base of the big toe, although it can also occur in the wrists, fingers, knees, and heel. It is cause by excess uric acid in the blood, which is then deposited in joints and surrounding tissues in the form of uric acid crystals. Gout can have various causes, including genetics and trauma, but is often associated with frequent consumption of alcohol and meat. Gout is more prevalent in men than women.

There are many other forms of arthritis, including autoimmune diseases like ankylosing spondylitis and scleroderma, and those resulting from infection, like gonococcal arthritis. Although different types of arthritis can be differentiated on the basis of their symptoms, medical testing is usually necessary to conclusively determine the underlying cause.

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

Arthritis Home Care New York

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Living a Healthy Lifestyle with Arthritis

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Arthritis is a chronic disease that affects as many as 50 million Americans. Although it encompasses more than 100 conditions that may have different origins, arthritis always involves inflammation of the joints which can lead to swelling, pain, and stiffness. While everyone’s experience of the disease is different, most arthritis sufferers will experience discomfort and limitation. Pain and limited joint mobility can compromise the ability to participate in and enjoy many activities of daily living. Fortunately, there are many treatment options that can mitigate the effects of the disease and promote quality of life.

Non-drug treatment approaches to arthritis, such as physical therapy, can improve mobility and reduce pain through specialized exercises, stretching, and manipulation of the joints, as well as the application of ice or heat, massage, and the use of splints and supports around the affected joint. Over-the-counter medications, like acetaminophen (a pain reliever) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can alleviate pain and swelling, particularly in the early stages of arthritis. For more severe symptoms, prescription narcotics, like oxycodone and hydrocodone, steroids, like cortisone, and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) may be indicated.

In addition to physical therapy and medication, arthritis sufferers can take proactive steps to improve their quality of life. In many cases, simple lifestyle changes can have a big impact on the health and wellbeing of people living with arthritis. Low-impact exercise, such as swimming and walking, can strengthen muscles that support the joints and improve flexibility and range of motion. Getting plenty of sleep can help to reduce the frequency and severity of arthritis flare-ups. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats (like those found in nuts, seeds, and fish) can help the body fight arthritis symptoms and improve overall health. Avoiding activities and positions that put stress on the affected joints is another way to minimize symptoms and improve joint health.

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

Arthritis Home Care New York

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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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