Understanding Parkinson’s Disease – Safety Precautions At Home

How to Care for Someone with Parkinson's Disease

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease – Safety Precautions At Home

How to Care for Someone with Parkinson’s Disease? Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition causing the brain’s structure to degenerate. It leads to slow movement, tremors, and balance problems.

It affects muscle control and contraction along with other senses such as thinking, and mental health. Do you feel you experiencing coarse tremors in hand?

Are you experiencing rigidity in movements? Are you having difficulty walking? Parkinson’s affects the movement of the muscles and body leading to unstable posture or gait.

If you’re experiencing any such kind of discomforting symptoms, contact the best psychiatrist in Patna, Dr. Vivek Pratap Singh. 


What is Parkinson’s disease? 

Parkinson’s disease causes deterioration to the specific brain structure such as basal ganglia.

According to the research, it has been shown that Parkinson’s led to a major shift in the brain chemistry and losing certain abilities due to degeneration of specific structures controlled by them.

It is characterized by a decrease in dopamine, affecting the way the brain controls the neurons and their communication.

The fine-tuning of the muscle requires dopamine. And the decline in the neurotransmitter can cause slowed movements and jerky tremors. 

The symptoms experienced by a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease are 

  • Bradykinesia is slowed movements due to weakness in the muscles because of control issues. 
  • Resting tremors are rhythmic shaking of the hands at rest. This is seen in the majority of people with Parkinson’s disease. 
  • Rigidity and stiffness are characteristic of Parkinson’s disease. Cogwheel rigidity is defined as tremor and constant unchanging stiffness while moving a body part. This is the most common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. 
  • Due to slow and stiff movements, the body posture seems stooped and hunched back. They take short steps and have a shuffling stride visible when a person’s walking. 

Along with these symptoms, Parkinson’s disease has other issues associated with the autonomic nervous system like urinary incontinence, constipation, or sexual dysfunction.

People can suffer from depression and anxiety due to their condition. They get irritated and angry at not being able to do their daily activities and relying on someone else can make them feel ashamed. 

How to Care for Someone with Parkinson’s Disease? Parkinson’s disease is a familial disorder that increases the chances of getting it if it runs in the family. Most commonly, its cause has been traced to genetics.

Although, at times it can also manifest as an idiopathic disorder. 


Tips for living with Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that affects and takes a toll on the mental health of people suffering from the disease and their loved ones.

Living with someone with Parkinson’s is not an easy job. It comes with a lot of responsibilities and dedication that not everyone is prepared for. So, a care plan for someone with Parkinson’s disease is as follows

Parkinson’s disease can be divided into stages according to the disease progression. 

The first stage consists of helping the person with mobility and regular exercise. One can do that by making the individual 

  • Walking
  • Cycling 
  • Swimming
  • Physical therapy
  • Regular exercise
  • Yoga or meditation

This kind of physical activity can help them deal with their symptoms better and reduce the risk of falls. People need a balanced diet, and adequate hydration in their daily routine. 

The second stage causes the symptoms to be more noticeable and start progressing to affect both sides of the body. People will often require help with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing up, eating, or walking.

They need physical and occupational therapy to maintain balance, reduce stiffness, and improve mobility.

This stage needs to have people complying with their treatment regime and not skipping any medications.

One of the other things to do is ensure the home has the necessary safety precautions in order to avoid hazards and potential falls.

The stage three of Parkinson’s disease makes it difficult for people to survive independently as the symptoms become more and more severe.

People lose their balance and coordination, increase slow movements, and are unable to perform daily activities. Physical and occupational therapy will get more intense because their mobility and independence have been affected.

Individual’s speaking ability will reduce thus opting for speech and language therapy. As their mobility decreases, the environment at home will also need to be shifted by adding a stairlift or wheelchair ramp, and better accessibility for bathrooms. 

People in their fourth stage will need round-the-clock care as the disease has severely progressed now.

These people will need nursing interventions such as deep breathing exercises to cope with the weakness in muscles. They are also at risk of aspiration and pneumonia. This stage needs a full-time caregiver for hospice care.


How to help Parkinson’s patients sleep?

The caring for parkinson’s patients at home includes daily care and understanding their needs and wants.

Because of their pain and tremors, they have difficulty performing activities and cannot sleep adequately. Here are some tips that can help –

  • Don’t let someone with Parkinson’s have caffeine before they go to bed. This includes tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Caffeine is a stimulant that makes one stay up till late. 
  • Drinking alcohol can help one sleep but its withdrawal effects lead to waking up and restlessness during the night eventually affecting sleep. 
  • Avoid smoking before bedtime as it is also a stimulant that can affect sleep.
  • Helping the individual relax before bedtime can make it easier for them to drift off.
  • Making sure the bed is comfortable and without any clutter can make a person calm and help them sleep better.
  • Keeping the room temperature optimal to the person’s needs is important. High temperatures in the room can make the person restless and irritated for the night.
  • Regular routine and fixed patterns of time to go to bed, meals, and daily activities can help the mind adjust to sleeping at a regular time. 


How to care for someone with Parkinson’s dementia?

For some people, taking care does not come naturally. And, when it’s someone with Parkinson’s disease, they need the best care and a responsible person who can do it.

It can get difficult at times to learn what they need, and how to give them the best attention or care. So, that’s why here’s a Parkinson’s disease caregiver guide to know how to take care of what they need

  • A lot of times, people take up the role of a nurse and see the affected individual as a helpless patient and think whatever they are doing is for their safety and betterment. That is not productive and the extra protectiveness can irritate the person. Instead of that, have an honest conversation about their needs and how they want to be taken care of. 
  • Educate on the disease the person is suffering from because the symptoms can vary from person to person. It helps to understand the person’s symptoms and how to deal with them. It’s a complex disease that one will need to know what works best for the person they are taking care of.
  • Try tagging along with them on doctor’s appointments so that you can know about their disease, its progression, what measures to take, and how to care. You can take notes and ask your own questions. The person will also feel grateful to have someone with them and you will get to know more about their disease.
  • People with Parkinson’s tend to feel more depressed and upset about their condition. It is one of the associated symptoms of the disorder. So, words of encouragement for someone with Parkinson’s can help matters and validate their feelings. Sometimes, they only need someone they can talk to, and understand the situation they are facing. Having someone to talk about their condition can help their mind feel relaxed and relieve the burden of their overthinking. With the progression of the disease, there will be changes in mood, and their symptoms. It’s important to observe these changes and make sure everything is available whatever they need. 
  • Communicating with the loved one is vital because slowly their speaking ability can get in the way of your measures. So, try talking to them in person. See what they are trying to say. If possible ask close-ended questions that can be answered with yes or no, that way they can better communicate their needs. Repeat whatever you understand so there’s no mistake in communication and even they know for sure that you understood what they want. 

Parkinson’s disease is a lot for a person and their loved ones to deal with. They themselves can go through feelings of depression and anxiety taking care of their people.

Diagnosing it early can help reduce the intensity of the symptoms, and taking regular medications can help with their movement symptoms.

So, if you are concerned about someone having this condition, book an appointment as soon as possible with the top neuropsychiatrist in Patna, Dr. Vivek Pratap Singh. 

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