Parkinson's Home Care
San Diego Parkinson's Home Care
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition that affects the nervous system (specifically movement functions). The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but research suggests that your genes (especially those with several relatives with the disorder) and certain environmental conditions (like exposure to toxins) play significant roles in Parkinson’s disease.
There are also significant changes that happen in a Parkinson’s disease patient’s brain. The presence of Lewy bodies (clumps of deposits made up mostly of a protein called alpha-synuclein), decreased levels of dopamine (a neurotransmitter), and loss of norepinephrine (another neurotransmitter) are some of the better known changes associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
In general, those highest at risk for developing Parkinson’s are men 60 or older, who have several relatives with the condition. The signs of Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to point out in their early stages. It is not uncommon for symptoms to go unnoticed, especially those that start on smaller limbs, such as the fingers.
The symptoms include: Tremors, Bradykinesia, Loss of Automatic Movements, Speech and Writing Changes, and Stiff/Rigid Muscles.
- Tremors- Many individuals with Parkinson’s experience oscillating or shaking movements. They typically start on one side of the body and will affect the other side as the disease progresses. Tremors most often occur when the affected muscles are at rest or relaxed.
- Bradykinesia- Some individuals with Parkinson’s disease experience a slowing down of movement. Facial expressions become more stoic, steps become slower and shorter, and everyday tasks become difficult to manage.
- Loss of Automatic Movements- Unconscious movements like blinking, gesturing, or swinging your arms while walking, becomes difficult for many patients. Combined with other effects of Bradykinesia, everyday activities become challenging.
- Speech and Writing Changes- With the onset of Parkinson’s, bradykinesia can also affect speech. Many individuals will experience slower, quieter speech. Writing also becomes difficult and may appear smaller and less legible.
- Stiff/Rigid Muscles- Normal muscle function allows for a state of relaxation, but for some people with Parkinson’s, that state does not exist. The stiffness in the affected muscles results in a lower range of motion, making automatic movements like swinging your arms while walking, difficult.
Parkinson's Home Care Treatment:
Since there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, treatment is aimed at improving quality of life by managing, reducing, or even relieving symptoms. Given the range of treatments and spectrum of negative effects caused by Parkinson’s, treatment plans and options vary.
There are various medications that can be prescribed:
- Dopamine agonists
- MAO-B inhibitors
- Surgery is also an option for some individuals. Deep brain stimulation can help reduce the effects of tremors, muscle stiffness and rigidity, and improve Bradykinesia. Typically however, surgery is only suggested for those individuals whose Parkinson’s is advanced and the response to their medication is unstable.
- Parkinsons Home Care treatment and lifestyle changes are also beneficial for many Parkinson’s patients. Healthy eating, regular exercise and taking precaution when doing daily activities can help improve your quality of life.
The Importance of Home Care
Treatment for Parkinson’s has improved greatly in recent years and allows individuals to live full, happy lives. Unfortunately, since there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, no treatment will increase quality of life to a pre-condition state.
Medicinal options often reduce, or counteract intense symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but will also have side-effects. Depending on the medication you’re taking, side-effects include headache, joint pain, indigestion, depression, nausea, dizziness or fainting, stomach pain, vomiting, light-headedness, confusion and hallucinations. All of these side-effects can be managed with help. Adult Home Health Care’s Parkinson’s home care services can help you with your daily struggles of Parkinson’s disease by offering:
- Diet and meal assistance: personalized meal preparation, diet monitoring and grocery list preparation.
- Appointment and medication management: schedule appointments, appointment reminders, medication reminders and picking up prescriptions.
- Companionship Care: engaging intellectual conversations, mental awareness stimulation, aide assembling puzzles, renting and watching movies and selecting and having a good book read to you.
If you’re considering surgery as a treatment, it is pertinent to have a plan set up for your rehabilitation. The actual DBS (deep brain stimulation) won’t occur until 3-4 weeks after surgery, so symptoms may still be present, making daily activities difficult. Parkinson’s home care support can assist you with many of your activities of your daily living which may include:
Home Support Services:
- light housekeeping, vacuuming, dusting, making the bed, change the linens, washing dishes, laundry, assisting with packages and home delivery, taking out the garbage, houseplant care and pet care.
Personal Care Services:
- assistance with bathing or showering and hygiene, grooming and hair styling, assistance with dressing, climbing steps, light stretching and/or exercise and getting in and out of bed.
Regardless of treatment, it is important to have a team of professionals to aid you in your treatment. Adult Home Health Care has a Parkinson’s home care team of professionals ready to assist you; our team consists of Caregivers, Personal Care Attendants, Certified Nurse’s Assistants (CNA) and Home Health Aides (HHA). We also have an on-call Nurse for care management available. We can cater the services we offer to your specific needs.