What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the central nervous system. Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States are currently diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s symptoms are thought to be caused by a lack of dopamine, which is a chemical messenger in the brain that controls body movement. The cause of reduced dopamine is unknown although genetics and environmental factors such as exposure to certain toxins are thought to play a role.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
The signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s can be both motor and non-motor and will vary from person to person. Early symptoms can be very mild (e.g., a very slight tremor in one hand) so it can go unnoticed. However, the disease is progressive with symptoms becoming more frequent and more severe over time. It is important to get an early diagnosis as there are medications that can slow the advancement of the disease.
Unfortunately there are no laboratory tests for Parkinson’s, but some of the most common motor and non-motor symptoms are as follows:
- Muscle tremors
- Loss of fine motor control
- Slowness of movement
- Muscle rigidity
- Trouble with balance
- Loss of mental sharpness
- Insomnia, vivid dreams and daytime sleepiness
- Impaired bladder control
- Vision problems/dizziness
- Sweating and body aches
- Loss of taste
- Hallucinations and delusions
Services Provided by Our Aides
Individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s need both physical and emotional attention. The amount of care they need will change as the disease progresses. Eventually, they will need a lift chair, walker, wheelchair, bedside commode or other medical equipment. Our aides are trained in the use of these items. They are also skilled at creating a stress-free and safe environment for your loved one.
Our aides will make your loved one more comfortable by:
- Providing companionship
- Assisting with bathing and dressing
- Helping them get in and out of a bed or chair
- Preparing nutritious meals
- Providing reminders to take medication
- Assisting in light physical therapy
- Escorting them to doctor’s appointments
- Doing housekeeping and laundry
- Providing 24-hour care, if needed
In order for our aides to provide adequate care, it is essential that the patient’s bedroom and common living areas are on one level.