If you have a loved one diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you need to make sure that they get the help they need. In some cases, this might mean caring for your loved one yourself. Or, this might mean seeking the help of a caretaker that knows more about your loved one’s needs than you do. Here, you can learn about proper care for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease. This can help you notice any improper care provided by a caretaker.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder that affects a person’s movement. Because Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder, it gets worse over time. In the early stages, Parkinson’s disease might be manageable. Your loved one will just have minor symptoms. These might include tremors, slowness of movement, or stiffness of joints. But, as Parkinson’s worsens, your loved one may become unable to walk or speak. Even though there is no cure for this disease, it is manageable through the use of medication. In some cases, surgery can also help. Also, a healthy lifestyle can help manage the symptoms of this disease. Maintaining healthy eating habits and regular exercise can improve muscle strength. This can also promote general health.
Parkinson’s disease is broken up into five stages. As your loved one reaches more advanced stages of the disease, their needs will increase.
Stage One. This is the initial stage of the disease. During this stage, you might notice that your loved one exhibits mild symptoms. These symptoms include shaking or trembling.
Stage Two. In stage two, a person’s symptoms will become bilateral. This means that they affect both sides of the body. This can affect your loved one’s ability to walk, balance, or complete everyday tasks.
Stage Three. During this stage, your loved one’s symptoms will become more severe. It will become increasingly difficult for your loved one to stand or walk in a straight line.
Stage Four. Severe Parkinson’s symptoms will emerge. Symptoms include extreme difficulty walking, slowness of movement, and difficulty completing everyday tasks. It is also common for tremors to reduce or disappear during this stage.
Stage Five. In this stage, a person with Parkinson’s disease generally won’t be able to care for themselves. Consistent nursing care is generally required during this stage.
Parkinson’s Disease Care
For the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, it might be appropriate for you to hire a home health aide. An aide can assist your loved one with day-to-day tasks. But, as the disease progresses, your loved one will need medical attention. At this time, it will be best to have your loved one stay at a nursing home or a special care facility. No matter which option you choose, your loved one should be monitored and get proper care. This includes:
- Muscle strengthening exercises such as physical activity.
- Regular exercise (as the disease allows).
- Access to a healthy diet.
- Consistent doctor’s visits.
- Help recovering from surgery.
- A consistent and proper medication schedule.
- Mental stimulation and support. Many people with Parkinson’s struggle with depression and other issues.
- Speech therapy.
- Help with day-to-day tasks.
If this care is not provided, and your loved one’s symptoms get worse, the caretaker might be guilty of neglect or abuse. Be sure to communicate with your loved one and their caretaker about their care to prevent these issues.