With approximately 60,000 Americans diagnosed each year, chances are you know someone who has or will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, PD. This degenerative neurological disorder is the second most common following Alzheimer’s disease. As many as one million Americans, and estimated ten million worldwide, are currently living with Parkinson’s Disease. Most receive their diagnosis after the age of 60. So, it’s time we raise awareness.
April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and every year on April 11, World Parkinson’s Day draws awareness to the progressively degenerative neurological disease. The date was not randomly chosen but is a great choice to call attention to the disease since it falls on the birthday of the man it is named after, Dr. James Parkinson, who first discovered the neurological symptoms.
With early diagnosis and proper treatment, people with Parkinson’s Disease can have a better life expectancy. However, the disease is progressive and starts often with symptoms so mild you may not be aware anything major is going wrong. It then progresses into 5 stages, first making itself known through motor impairment and finally psychotic symptoms, hallucinations, and dementia.
No two Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis looks the same. It impacts each individual in different ways. It does, however, progress with similar symptoms for each of the five phases or stages:
Stage One – Mild symptoms such as tremor or other movement issues on one side of the body. This may not be overtly debilitating or even noticed for more than being bothersome. Changes might include posture, walking, or facial expressions.
Stage Two – The earlier mild symptoms begin to worsen. Now, the disease moves to both sides of the body with tremors, rigidity, and other movement issues. Walking begins to be more difficult and poor posture is apparent. Though, the person is usually still able to go about daily tasks and live independently just with more difficulty.
Stage Three – Also called the mid-stage, the person begins to lose balance, and movements slow down. Falls become more common, though the person is still often living independently as possible. Though, they often need help or find it more difficult to get dressed or feed themselves.
Stage Four – This stage is the point where symptoms become far more limiting and severe. The person no longer is able to stand without help and may require a walker to move around with limited mobility. They will need help with daily activities and often are unable to continue living alone.
Stage Five – The final stage in Parkinson’s Disease is the most debilitating. Leg stiffness may leave them unable to stand or walk and they may even require a wheelchair or be unable to get out of bed. This stage requires 24-hour nursing care and help with all activities. This is also the stage where hallucinations and delusions will begin to appear and become debilitating.
Regency Home Care Atlanta is here to help with the best home health care in Georgia and the surrounding Atlanta area. Senior home care Atlanta offer tips on maximizing life at home for the seniors you love including professional in-home care assistance for those in the any stages of Parkinson’s Disease. We are here to help set up and explain options to provide you with a trusted hands-on assistance in the home to allow older adults to live life to the fullest for as long as possible.
Contact us for more information on private duty care in Atlanta. We are your partner in care to help with living independently for as long as possible with Parkinson’s Disease and other senior concerns. We help with safe, reliable transportation to health-related appointments and procedures, running errands, preparing nutritious meals and so much more.