IMG_8353Parkinson’s Disease is a degeneration of neurons in a region of the brain that controls movement. It typically affects people over 50 with a progressive onset of symptoms including:

–        Tremors or trembling in hands, arms, legs, and face

–       Rigidity or stiffness of the legs and trunk

–       Slowness of movement

–       Inability to move

–       Impaired balance and coordination

–       A shuffling gait

–       Stooped posture

–       Foot pain and toe curling

–       Difficulty swallowing or chewing

 

There are 5 stages of Parkinson’s Disease that are used to describe the severity of the disease for each individual.

Stage 1- Mild symptoms on one side of the body only. Changes in posture, locomotion, and facial expression.

Stage 2- Interruption of daily living. Symptoms on both sides of the body and changes to posture and gait.

Stage 3- Moderately severe symptoms. Difficulty walking and standing and significant slowing of body movement.

Stage 4-Severe symptoms. Very limited ability to walk. Tremor may be less than earlier stages.

Stage 5- Invalid. Cannot stand of walk, requiring constant nursing care

 

When providing care for someone who has Parkinson’s disease, it is important to keep the following guidelines in mind.

Dressing- Allow plenty of time; loose fitting clothes and Velcro enclosures are helpful

Mobility- Encouraging them to rock side to side and/or imaging they are stepping over something can help them get moving; Remove floor rugs and be aware of sharp edges on furniture.

Eating- Allow plenty of time; Puree foods if necessary and encourage adequate consumption of fluids

 

There are also number of assistive devices that can help make daily living more comfortable for someone with Parkinson’s Disease:

  • Specially designed utensils
  • Canes, walkers, and wheelchairs
  • Bathroom grab bars
  • Door pulls instead of knobs
  • Rope pulls on drawers
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Parkinson’s Disease is a degeneration of neurons in a region of the brain that controls movement. It typically affects people over 50 with a progressive onset of symptoms including: –        Tremors or trembling in hands, arms, legs, and face –       Rigidity or stiffness of the legs and trunk –       Slowness of movement –      ...