Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative disorder of the nervous system, caused by gradual loss of function in the parts of the brain that control movement. Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremor of the hands, face, or limbs, stiffness in the arms, legs, and torso, and difficulty initiating voluntary movement. Other early symptoms may include smaller handwriting, stooping or poor posture, and a shuffling walk, and a consistently “serious,” “sad, or angry” facial expression, regardless of the person’s actual mood.
Parkinson’s usually affects people over the age of 50. For most people who develop Parkinson’s, early symptoms are subtle, appear gradually over time, and progress in stages. In some people, however, symptoms progress much more quickly, leading to a more sudden loss of ability.
As the primary symptoms of Parkinson’s become more pronounced, affected individuals often have more difficulty walking, talking, and completing everyday tasks. Walking often becomes problematic as balance, posture, and coordination are compromised, and a characteristic shuffling gait develops, making falls more likely. Talking sometimes becomes difficult for people with Parkinson’s as the disease progresses; many Parkinson’s sufferers speak in a very soft voice, have trouble modulating their tone, and may struggle to find the right words to express themselves. Bathing, dressing, and other activities of daily living become more difficult as coordination deteriorates and voluntary movement gets harder. People with Parkinson’s may experience trouble eating, as a lack of control over the muscles that govern chewing and swallowing make mealtimes more of a challenge.
Because of the progressive nature of Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to stay vigilant at the first onset of symptoms. Although it’s impossible to predict how quickly symptoms will get worse, since disease progress varies from person to person, it’s vital to pursue treatment and coordinate assistance for affected individuals as soon as possible.
Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one seeking care from a home care agency for Parkinson’s related challenges. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.
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.
For people who suffer from sleep apnea, a poor night’s sleep can be just the beginning. Although they may not remember instances of waking, most people with sleep apnea wake up several times an hour when their breathing is interrupted. In mild to moderate sleep apnea, breathing cessation, and its associated waking or change in sleep, may occur five or more times an hour. In severe sleep apnea, the affected person may wake more than thirty times every hour. This constant interruption in sleep can have far-reaching health consequences: people with sleep apnea are likely to suffer from daytime fatigue, which can result in mood disorders, on-the-job injuries, motor vehicle crashes, and a generally lower quality of life. Additionally, people with sleep apnea are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Because of the potentially serious health problems that can result from untreated sleep apnea, it is essential for people with this disorder to seek help.
For some people with sleep apnea, lifestyle changes, like losing weight, quitting smoking, or reducing alcohol consumption can dramatically improve their symptoms, or even cure the disorder. For others, lifestyle changes are insufficient; in these cases, special dental appliances, pillows and supports, or even assisted breathing devices like CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines are necessary to control sleep apnea.
When other treatments fail, surgery might be indicated as a last-resort option for sleep apnea treatment. Tissue removal is sometimes successful in relieving symptoms of sleep apnea, such as snoring. In this procedure, soft tissue is removed from the back of the mouth and throat, widening the airway and reducing the vibration that causes snoring. However, this treatment isn’t always successful at treating the root cause of sleep apnea, as tissues deeper in the throat may still block the airway. For people with mild sleep apnea, the implantation of plastic rods into the soft tissues of the throat can help to stabilize the airway. A more radical option is jaw repositioning, which moves the jaw forward and creates more space in the airway, decreasing the likelihood of obstruction. Finally, for people with extremely severe, life-threatening sleep apnea, tracheostomy, in which a tube is inserted through the neck into the trachea, effectively creating a new airway, is sometimes used.
Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for sleeping problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.
Arthritis is a common disease from which millions of Americans suffer. The term arthritis is used to define a variety of joint ailments that may have different causes and specific outcomes. Although the origins of arthritic joint disease are diverse, all of them have a few common symptoms: reduced mobility, pain, and swelling of the affected joint.
Arthritis affects people of all ages, from all walks of life. One of the most common forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is especially prevalent among older adults. While other forms of arthritis can be caused due to an autoimmune disease or infection, osteoarthritis is caused by simple wear-and-tear of the joints. A lifetime can damage the cartilage which forms a protective cushion between bones in joints. As people grow older they are more likely to develop osteoarthritis. Although the progression of arthritis can be hastened by trauma, such as an injury or an infection, it usually results from the normal prolonged activity.
The body is more resilient during youth and tissue has a greater ability to repair itself. As people age, however, the body becomes more susceptible to damage. Such is the case with cartilage: the tough, flexible tissue that protects bones becomes more brittle with age. As cartilage wears down, bones rub against each other within joints causing the characteristic symptoms of osteoarthritis. A majority of those over the age of seventy will suffer from osteoarthritis. Physical therapy, including stretching, exercise, and massages are effective in reducing pain and swelling. Topical creams and cold/hot packs can also provide some relief. Additionally, over-the-counter and prescription medications can help to alleviate symptoms.
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.