Parkinson’s disease is different for each patient. For some people, Parkinson’s symptoms are mild, while in others the symptoms are much more severe. While it’s difficult to predict how Parkinson’s will affect a person, the disease does appear to move through five stages.

Stage 1: Known as early-stage Parkinson’s, during this stage a person typically has only mild symptoms that may present as follows:

  • Symptoms are only on one side of the body
  • Symptoms are inconvenient, but not disabling
  • Uncontrolled tremors or shaking in one limb may be noticed
  • Friends and family can usually detect changes in the person’s posture, balance, and facial expressions

Stage 2: During the second stage of Parkinson’s, inability to perform normal physical tasks may become more apparent:

  • Symptoms will affect both sides of the body
  • The person has minimal disability, and usually encounters ambulatory or balance problems
  • Posture is affected

Stage 3: This stage is considered moderate Parkinson’s disease, and more significant disability will begin to develop:

  • There is a significant slowing of the body movements
  • Early impairment of equilibrium may result in the inability to walk straight or stand
  • There is generalized dysfunction that is moderately severe

Stage 4: Stage four represents advanced Parkinson’s disease and is accompanied by severe symptoms:

  • Rigidity and bradykinesia, or slow movements are often visible
  • The person is unable to complete daily tasks and typically cannot live alone
  • Tremors may lessen or disappear for unknown reasons during this time

Stage 5: The final stage of the disease usually takes over the patient’s physical movements:

  • The person usually experiences a general reduction in vitality and strength of the body and mind
  • The person may not be able to walk or stand
  • One-on-one care is required

As a person moves through the stages of Parkinson’s disease, he may require assistance to allow him to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, or eating. Regency Home Care of Atlanta can help your loved one maintain a safe, independent lifestyle at home for as long as possible. Contact us to learn more about our Atlanta elder care services or to schedule a free in-home assessment.