Parkinson’s Awareness Week runs from 19th to 25th April 2010, and one of the leading independent care homes groups, Caring Homes, sees this as the perfect opportunity to increase the public’s awareness of Parkinson’s disease.
It is estimated that there are 120,000 people living with Parkinson’s disease in the UK, that’s one person in every 500. While this is a condition that can be managed, it is important to get the help and support needed after diagnosis.
Do you know someone or have a loved one that may have Parkinson’s?
Do you know how they or you will cope?
Caring Homes, one of the UK’s leading independent healthcare providers, understands how stressful and distressing it can be if you suspect that someone close to you has Parkinson’s.
This is why they have produced a simple guide for anyone who is concerned, and unsure what to do next.
Firstly, what are the symptoms of Parkinson ’s disease?
Parkinson’s arises when nerve cells in the brain die, leading to a deficiency of the chemical dopamine. When these nerve cells die, various symptoms appear. Common symptoms are tremors, slowness of movement and rigidity, although it is important to remember that everyone may experience different symptoms. If you are noticing several of these symptoms in yourself or someone you know, it is important that you contact your GP as a specialist is needed to make a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
My loved one has Parkinson’s disease – what happens next?
After diagnosis, the specialist will coordinate a method for controlling the symptoms. This may include medication, therapy or even surgery if considered necessary. The sufferer may need increased care and help as the condition progresses, but many people maintain a good, active lifestyle without extra care or treatment.
Some tips for those with Parkinson’s disease, or those living with someone with the condition:
- A variety of medication may be needed for those with Parkinson’s. Make sure you are aware what pills need to be taken, and when. Many pharmacies sell medication organisers or dispensers that can help with this.
- Understand how the condition affects you, or your loved one. By recognising the symptoms, you can learn how to deal with them.
- Professional expertise may be useful. For instance, visiting a speech therapist to help keep facial muscles active, or a dietician to help avoid constipation and dietary problems.
- Body rigidity is often a symptom of Parkinson’s. Keeping active can help. A gentle aerobics or yoga class may be helpful too.
- There is a wealth of information available that can help you to understand the condition. Try visiting your local library for books, or internet access, to find out more.
- If you are struggling, or need extra support, do not be afraid to ask for help. Contact your GP for further advice.
- See whether there is a support group in your area. Contact your local Caring Homes care home, as they may have one that you can join.
Emma Charlton, Marketing Director of Caring Homes, says: “A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease can come as a shock, but it is important to remember that many people still live active and happy lives with the condition. There is lots of support and advice available for those who need it, and so it is possible to manage and come to terms with Parkinson’s.
“At Caring Homes, we understand the importance of dedicated and supportive care, particularly for those who have Parkinson’s disease and so may need extra help with day-to-day activities. We treat our residents with the dignity and respect they deserve, whatever their state of health. Many of our homes can provide help for those with Parkinson’s, or those caring for someone with the condition. Get in touch with us and see how we can help!”
Like to find out more about the care available through Caring Homes?
There are lots of Caring Homes care homes around the country that can help. To visit or to make an appointment for an assessment of a prospective resident’s care needs, please email email@example.com:
19th April 2010
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Tel: 01536 414555
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