Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder with symptoms that are progressive and worsen over time. Parkinson’s disease is different for each patient. Age of onset, symptoms, and reactions to medications will be different for everyone, so patients should work closely with their physicians to create a care plan that is right for them.
What to Expect:
While each person’s experience with Parkinson’s disease will be different, there are some common symptoms that each patient can expect to encounter, including:
- Tremors in the hands, arms, legs, and face
- Stiffness or rigidity in the limbs and trunk
- Slowness of movement, also known as bradykinesia
- Impaired balance and coordination
There are several medications and treatments that are typically prescribed to treat Parkinson’s disease and lessen the patient’s symptoms. The doctor will evaluate each patient’s personal condition in order to determine the best course of treatment.
Home Care for Parkinson’s Disease:
As Parkinson’s disease progresses, most patients’ symptoms will become more disabling, leading them to require care in the home. In-home care can help Parkinson’s patients adjust as their symptoms advance and allow them to remain independent for as long as possible.
Aunt Ann’s Home Care in San Francisco has a staff of qualified, professional caregivers who can provide hourly or live-in care for clients with Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, Aunt Ann’s certified home health aides and certified nurse’s aides can provide services such as:
- Home modifications to help clients move throughout their home easier
- Meal planning and preparations
- Respite care to relieve family caregivers
Talking to the Doctor:
When being treated for Parkinson’s, most people are advised to see their doctor every 3 to 6 months. It is important to discuss treatment openly with the physician to ensure understanding of the condition and treatment. Some questions to ask may include:
1. What medications are best? Talk to the doctor about which medications will work best given the prognosis. Questions to ask:
- What side effects can I expect from these medications?
- What symptoms will these medications treat?
- Are there any complementary therapies that may help? What medications or treatments are available?
2. What lifestyle changes should I consider making?
- What exercises or physical therapy can best reduce the severity of my symptoms?
- Are there any dietary changes I can make to help reduce my symptoms?
3. What is the usual progression of Parkinson’s disease?
- Is there any way to predict how severe my symptoms may become?
- Is there any way to predict how much disability I might experience?
The Parkinson’s patient will also want to alert his or her doctor of any side effects experienced while on medications, or if symptoms worsen.
Services to Consider:
Managing Parkinson’s disease can be challenging, but being able to remain in the secure, familiar surroundings of home can help. Home care services can allow a person with Parkinson’s to remain at home, and can help him or her remain independent for as long as possible.
At Aunt Ann’s Home Care, we provide a wide variety of in-home care services to help our clients maintain a high quality of life in the home as they age. Through our experience in caring for clients with Parkinson’s disease, we have found that the following services are ones to consider:
- Personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming)
- Housekeeping, transportation to and from appointments, etc.
- Meal planning and preparation
- Home modifications
- Respite care to relieve family caregivers
At Aunt Ann’s Home Care, we can tailor a specific plan of in-home care to meet each client’s individual needs.
If you would like more information about Parkinson’s disease, we have posted downloadable resource sheets and website resources that we hope will help you in your education and management of this disease.
Downloadable Tools and Tips:
Click the links to view or right click to print or save to your computer.
Click the links below to access resource Web sites to find out more about Parkinson’s Information.
Parkinson’s Disease Fact Sheet
The Family Caregiver Alliance offers an informative guide for patients and caregivers about Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia
Helpguide.org teaches about the signs, symptoms and treatment of Parkinson’s disease, as well as offers coping tips and information on Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s Disease Caregiving
This site offers useful tips and tools for helping caregivers who manage or care for someone with Parkinson’s disease.
Combating Depression in Parkinson’s Disease
This Parkinson’s Disease Foundation downloadable fact sheet offers strategies for handling the depression that many people living with Parkinson’s suffer.
National Parkinson Foundation
This educational site on Parkinson’s disease offers a wealth of valuable information.
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is a leading national presence in Parkinson’s disease research, education and public advocacy. They are working for the nearly one million people in the US living with Parkinson’s by funding promising scientific research and supporting people with Parkinson’s, their families and caregivers through educational programs and support services.
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
Dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease within the decade through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today. The site includes information on current research, a guide for the newly diagnosed and advice for caregivers.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Provides information on neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, recent discoveries and information on signing up for clinical research trials.
While researchers chase a cure, patients wonder what will help now. Getting moving is one answer. Watch this short video about how exercise can help Parkinson’s patients. The site also includes information from diagnosis to day-to-day care.
Parkinson’s Disease Frequently Asked Questions
Print out these questions and answers about Parkinson’s Disease to discuss with your doctor.
Care for life begins with information. At Aunt Ann’s Home Care we believe that education and understanding pave the way for quality care. To learn more about any of the subjects listed on our site, or to ask a specific related care question, call us at 415.974.3530or 650.757.2000, or contact us. Our team will be happy to educate you or your loved one on a variety of care-related subjects as well as provide a FREE home consultation to discuss our services and your or your loved one’s needs.