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Posts Tagged “Parkinson’s Disease”

The Changing Face of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's Disease - respite care sun city az

Discover the 5 stages of Parkinson’s disease and the changes that may occur in each from the Phoenix senior care team at Nightingale Homecare.

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, the number of Americans diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is predicted to cross the one million mark by next year – impacting more than those with MS, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined. In fact, there are already more than ten million people with the disease worldwide.

As such, it’s likely that most of us either already are or will be closely acquainted with someone managing the disease; so it’s important for all of us to better understand how the disease progresses, and what changes might be encountered in each stage. Our Phoenix senior care team has the information you need:

Stage 1

In the beginning stage of Parkinson’s disease, patients typically begin to experience mild tremors on one side of the body, as well as barely perceptible changes to posture, ambulation, and/or facial expressions.

Stage 2

As the disease begins to progress to Stage 2, tremors may become apparent on both sides of the body, along with rigidity and more noticeable changes to posture and ambulation. During this phase, patients can usually still manage daily life independently, although with a bit more difficulty.

Stage 3

Balance and coordination issues are common in this stage, leading to slowed movements and increased risk of falls. Activities of daily living (ADLs) such as getting dressed and eating may require a little assistance – or may simply take more time to complete independently.

Stage 4 

In the fourth stage of the disease, there is a markedly greater level of impairment, and many daily tasks will require assistance, including help with walking and other forms of movement.

Stage 5

In the fifth and final stage of Parkinson’s disease, many patients will need a wheelchair for mobility, as impairment of motor skills advances and there is increased difficulty with standing, walking, and managing daily activities. Hallucinations are also common in this stage.

If you or a senior loved one is managing the effects of Parkinson’s disease, our Phoenix senior care team is on hand to help with personalized services adapted to meet needs both now and as the disease progresses in the future.

Our Journeys Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder program is staffed by BIG and LOUD certified therapists with specialized expertise in improving quality of life for those challenged by movement difficulties such as those experienced in Parkinson’s disease.

  • Our BIG program utilizes a proven exercise approach in which patients learn techniques to make bigger movements that lead to more normalized movement patterns; and
  • Our LOUD program helps patients improve quality and volume of speech, leading to more confident and effective conversation abilities and socialization.

We also work with Parkinson’s patients to improve swallowing, facial muscle control, balance, fine motor skills, fall prevention, and much more.

Contact Nightingale Homecare, the best providers of respite care Sun City, AZ and the surrounding areas depend on for quality care, any time at (602) 504-1555 to learn more about our specialty Parkinson’s care program, or any of our other in-home senior care services.

Make Life Easier with Parkinson’s: Tips from the Scottsdale Home Care Experts

Scottsdale Home Care

Learn tips to improve life with Parkinson’s.

For those living with Parkinson’s disease, many challenges present throughout the day. The symptoms of Parkinson’s (tremors, stiffness, balance problems and slow movement) tend to worsen over time, making all activities of daily living more difficult. Ongoing evaluations performed by your loved one’s physician, nurses and occupational and physical therapists are necessary in order to maximize independence and improve safety.

The Scottsdale home care team at Nightingale Homecare offers tips and information on assistive devices below that may lessen the frustrations and safety issues that often accompany this disease.

WALKING

Unsteadiness, poor balance and shuffling gait are hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease and produce many challenges with walking safely. In the early stages of Parkinson’s, a straight cane is often helpful. These often work better than a quad cane or tripod cane for those with Parkinson’s. Proper fit is essential as the height of the cane will need to support proper posture. Once your loved one has progressed to a walker, four-wheeled walkers offer more stability than walkers that need to be lifted. In late-stage Parkinson’s, a wheelchair or electric scooter may be necessary.

EATING

Probably one of the more frustrating and isolating activities those with Parkinson’s suffer is that of eating. There are several remarkable breakthroughs to make eating easier for people with tremors. The utensils have larger, weighted handles that make gripping easier. There are also utensils that are self-stabilizing and self-leveling and designed to counteract tremors by up to 70%. Many people with Parkinson’s also find it helpful to use travel cups with the lid and straw attached as well as plates with scooped edges to avoid accidents.

GETTING DRESSED

A few adaptations can help remove the frustrations that someone with Parkinson’s may experience in dressing him/herself. These devices include:

  • Magnetic buttons, with buttons on the outside that close with magnets on the inside.
  • Zipper pulls which are attached rings to the tiny handles on zippers that make them easy to zip up and down.
  • Weighted button aides with a large grip handle with a loop on the other end. You simply thread the loop through the eyelet, hook the loop around the button, then pull the button through the eyelet.
  • Shoes with Velcro or elastic shoelaces are much easier to put on and off than shoes with regular shoelaces.

BATHROOM ACTIVITIES

Your loved-one’s occupational therapist can help make specific recommendations for the bathroom, but devices that make the bathroom safer and more manageable for those with Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Bars or handrails added to tubs/showers and toilet areas
  • Non-skid bathmats or decals on the tub floor
  • Tub chairs or benches
  • Raised toilet seats
  • Electric toothbrushes and razors
  • Touch faucets

WRITING

The fine motor skills lost with Parkinson’s can make holding a writing instrument difficult. There are many writing devices that are easier to grip. Other writing utensils are designed to improve shaky penmanship.

For more resources and specialized in-home care services for those with Parkinson’s disease, contact the Scottsdale home care team at Nightingale Homecare. We’re always on hand to make life easier, safer, and more comfortable with a full range of home health care services. Call us any time at (602) 504-1555 to learn more.

Posted in Blog, Home Safety, Senior Safety on December 21st, 2018 · Comments Off on Make Life Easier with Parkinson’s: Tips from the Scottsdale Home Care Experts

Is It Parkinson’s Disease or Are Your Meds to Blame?

Parkinson's diseaseThe telltale signs are well known: tremors, stiffness, and a slower gait, to name a few. With a staggering 60,000 Americans diagnosed each year, and thousands more currently undiagnosed, Parkinson’s disease is often the first thought when a senior loved one displays symptoms such as these. But there may actually be an alternative culprit – medications.

Professional Scottsdale home care agency, Nightingale Homecare, offers the following helpful information to narrow in on whether Parkinson’s or medication side effects are to blame.

Parkinson’s Disease Facts

Typically, Parkinson’s disease progresses gradually, beginning with tremors in one or both hands that are barely perceptible and advancing through the following stages:

  • Stage One: Mild tremors and other changes in movement begin to affect walking, facial expressions, and posture, but do not usually interfere with day-to-day activities.
  • Stage Two: Tremors and movement problems increase and become more noticeable, and may also include rigidity. Daily activities require more time but can typically still be completed independently.
  • Stage Three: Slowness increases, and loss of balance can contribute to increased fall risks. Some activities of daily living, such as eating and getting dressed, may require assistance.
  • Stage Four: Symptoms become more severe, and a walker is often required for ambulation. Further assistance is required with daily tasks.
  • Stage Five: In the final stage of Parkinson’s, the patient is often confined to a wheelchair or bed. Hallucinations may occur in this stage as well.

Parkinson’s-Imitating Medication Issues

It’s important to note that the following common medications can result in strikingly similar symptoms. Before assuming your loved one might be developing Parkinson’s disease, make a list of all of his or her medications and compare against the following prescriptions which are known for mimicking the disease:

  • Antipsychotics such as haloperidol and risperidone
  • Antidepressants such as sertraline, fluoxetine, or imipramine
  • MAOIs such as phenelzine
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Metoclopramide
  • Valproate
  • Anticonvulsants such as tiagabine, gabapentine, oxcarbazepine, and lamotrigine

If your senior loved one has recently been prescribed any of these medications, or the doctor has recently increased one of these meds and you’re noticing Parkinson’s-like symptoms, schedule an appointment to discuss further and to weigh the pros and cons of each medication. Those with a family history of Parkinson’s disease, dementia, or stroke are more susceptible to experiencing these types of side effects as well.

Whether your senior loved one is struggling with the challenges of Parkinson’s disease or any other chronic condition, or simply could use a helping hand to age in place safely and independently at home, the caring Scottsdale home care agency Nightingale Homecare is ready to assist. Our in-home care services are customized to meet the unique needs of each individual, from companionship and help with personal care needs, through skilled nursing care, and everything in between. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 to learn more.