Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that causes damage to the brain. People with Parkinson’s have insufficient dopamine in their brain because some of the nerve cells that make this chemical have stopped working.
According to the Parkinson’s Organisation, around 153,000 people in the UK are already living with Parkinson’s. It is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world and it is predicted that 1 in 37 people alive today in the UK will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can vary from person to person, and they often develop gradually. The exact cause of Parkinson’s is not fully understood, although it is believed that a combination of age, genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease.
According to the NHS, men are more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than women. Most people with Parkinson’s disease develop symptoms when they are over 50, but some people with the condition may first experience symptoms when they are under 40.
What are the first signs of Parkinson’s disease?
Early signs and symptoms can be mild and often go unnoticed, but they may become more pronounced over time. It is important to note that not everyone with Parkinson’s disease will experience all of these symptoms, and the severity of them can vary. Early diagnosis and intervention can help to manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
Common early signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can include tremors, impaired coordination, muscle rigidity and postural instability. You may also notice changes to your loved one’s handwriting and in their speech, reduced facial expressions and difficulty swallowing. In addition, Parkinson’s disease can also cause symptoms such as memory loss, changes to blood pressure, issues with constipation and bladder control, problems with skin, loss of sense of smell, weight loss, mood disorders, fatigue and sleep disturbances.
It is important to remember that these symptoms can also have other causes and experiencing them does not necessarily mean someone has Parkinson’s disease. If your loved one is experiencing these symptoms, we recommend that you consult with your doctor for an evaluation and diagnosis.
What treatments are available?
Parkinson’s is progressive, meaning that a person’s symptoms will worsen over time and advanced symptoms can result in increased disability and poor health, making daily life more difficult. Generally, Parkinson’s does not make a difference to a person’s life expectancy, however having the disease can increase the potential for other health risks, such as infection and an increased likelihood of falls.
While there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, there are medications and therapies that can help to manage the conditions, relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for your loved one. Management of the disease typically involves medication, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, dietary advice and ongoing support from a professional Carer. To ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, some people may undergo a type of brain surgery known as deep brain stimulation.
Why choose Bright Care
If you need specialist care for a loved one with Parkinson’s, Bright Care can help. We offer tailored in-home care services for those with Parkinson’s to help manage the condition, relieve symptoms and enable them to maintain a good quality of life within their own home for as long as possible.
If you would like to know more about the specialist care we offer to those in their later years, please get in touch and our team can talk you through our elder care services.
We are currently recruiting Care Assistants. We offer a competitive salary and good benefits. If you would like to join our team, providing tailored in-home care and companionship to those in their later years, please apply now.