As parents and loved ones grow older, most people are prepared to see some changes, but these changes can still come as a surprise and a challenge. Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative nervous system disorder that impairs movement and cognitive function, making everyday life more difficult. The symptoms often show up gradually, worsening with time. Common characteristics include physical tremors, such as trembling hands, slower and more difficult movement, difficulties balancing, problems with speech and stiff, rigid muscles. Many Parkinson’s patients will have difficulty performing unconscious gestures, such as blinking or gesturing. Parkinson’s most commonly manifests in people over the age of 50, but sometimes early-onset Parkinson’s can affect younger people as well.
Together, these symptoms make even simple, ordinary tasks suddenly difficult. People who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease often need comprehensive care. Loved ones may decide to take on most of this caregiving, especially if the Parkinson’s sufferer prefers to be in a familiar environment and does not wish to move to a nursing home. However, due to the limiting nature of the disease, home care requires a significant investment of time and energy. In-home care services help to alleviate stress and provide a better living environment for both the patient and the primary caregiver.
Home health care services occur on a schedule that suits the needs of each individual family. The PCA providing home care services should be able to help the Parkinson’s patient with physical therapy and other exercises that can reduce the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms. In addition, the home care provider can help the patient move around the home more freely, depending on the patient’s individual abilities. Most personal care services focus on the necessities of everyday life, including grooming and hygiene, essential household chores, preparing and eating healthy meals, ensuring that the patient is safe at all times, administering medications and being present during visits with various medical professionals or therapists. The PCA’s job is to ensure that the individual with Parkinson’s has a normal and comfortable day, even if the primary caregiver is not available. This also allows the primary caregiver to take time to refresh and recharge, improving his or her mental health.
As Parkinson’s progresses, the patient sometimes experiences dementia, including memory difficulties. This makes it particularly important for the person to have a trustworthy, qualified caregiver with him or her at all times. Home care services provide a professional level of supervision and care, while also allowing the Parkinson’s patient to experience the benefits of being around loved ones and maintaining a reasonable level of independence. Thanks to home health care services, any individual with Parkinson’s disease, whether elderly or young, can still enjoy life as much as possible.