Parkinson's Disease Care Within the Home
Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain that may result in shaking and difficulty with walking, movement, speaking, swallowing and coordination. It is one of the most common nervous system disorders of the elderly, and mostly develops after age 50. However, it can affect younger adults if it is in the family.
What is Parkinson's Disease?
This disorder is caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. Nerve cells in the brain use dopamine, a chemical, to help control muscle movement throughout the body. In Parkinson's disease, the nerve cells that make dopamine are destroyed, making it impossible for the brain to send proper signals to muscles in the rest of the body.
Parkinson's can affect one or both sides of the body, and how much and how quickly function is lost can vary from person to person. Symptoms are typically mild at first and progressively worsen. Early symptoms include a mild tremor or a slight feeling of a stiff foot, for instance. Other symptoms include a slowing or stopping of automatic movements like blinking, difficulty swallowing, drooling, impaired balance and walking, muscle aches, pains and stiffness, shaking and tremors, and slower, quiet speech or monotone voice.
There is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease, so the objective of treatment is to manage the symptoms and allow the patient to enjoy a high quality of life. Most medications work by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. Other treatments that can help are lifestyle changes. Good overall nutrition and health, with an approved amount of exercise, can aid in controlling symptoms. In addition, many patients find it helpful to have special eating utensils or railings and banisters installed in the home to assist with everyday activities. Physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy are also helpful for people with Parkinson's.
Home Care Services for Individuals with Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is unique in the way it affects individuals, and the care for the condition often needs to be just as specialized. Interim HealthCare professionals can design a care plan that incorporates therapies as well as assistance with homemaking tasks and medication management. Some of the services Interim can provide include:
- Safety supervision
- Ambulatory assistance
- Getting dressed
- Light housekeeping
- Laundry services
- Medication reminders
- Cognitive stimulation
In some cases additional nursing or therapies are needed. Interim HealthCare trained professionals can provide the help needed to remain at home and live as safe and comfortable as possible by providing services including:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy