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April is National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

Nearly one million Americans are living with Parkinson’s Disease—a debilitating illness that can cause uncontrollable tremors, muscle rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). While there is no known cure, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not the end of the world. There are treatment options available and in home care can make life much easier for individuals suffering from this disease.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic movement disorder that interferes with a person’s ability to control their own muscles. The disease is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time. While many medical advances have changed our understanding of the disease in the past ten years, there is still no known cause or cure.

Unfortunately for our aging population, seniors (60-years old or older) are at the highest risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease—especially if there is a family history of the illness.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease include:

  1. Muscle Tremors (usually in the hands legs, jaw, or face)

  2. Slowness of Movement

  3. Postural Instability

  4. Impaired Balance

  5. Poor Coordination

In addition to these “motor symptoms” there are a number of non-motor symptoms experienced by Parkinson’s patients including loss of smell, poor sleep regulation, and changes in mood (depression, etc.).

Scientists have discovered that people struggling with Parkinson’s are more likely to suffer from the formation of “Lewy Bodies” (protein clumps) in certain portions of the brain and loss of certain necessary brain cells. But whether these discoveries can lead to a treatment or not remains to be seen.

Living with Parkinson’s Disease

In recent years doctors have discovered that the use of certain medications and surgical procedures can greatly improve the quality of life experienced by Parkinson’s patients. While these treatments are not a cure, they do help people live a more “normal” life and can reduce the need for outside assistance.

In addition, simple lifestyle changes can decrease the severity of symptoms and help affected individuals deal with their diagnosis. For example, changing an individual’s diet to include more fiber can reduce constipation. Regular exercise helps strengthen muscles, increasing the ability to cope with the muscle tremors.

For more information, The Mayo Clinic has provided a list of treatments and recommended lifestyle changes online.

Deciding When You Need Help

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, daily living can become difficult or impossible. If your symptoms interfere with your daily life or make it dangerous for you to simply get around your own home, it may be time to seek outside help.

The experienced caregivers at Second Family Home Care in Plano, Texas provide as much or as little non-medical in home care as you need. We have several clients with Parkinson’s and our caregivers are trained specifically to work with clients who have Parkinson’s. We can also provide around the clock assistance with errands, hygiene, meal prep, and more.

To schedule your consultation call us at (972)347-0700 today.

#healthconditions #inhomecare #parkinsonsdisease

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