During the month of April, seniors living with Parkinson’s and their loved ones recognize Parkinson’s Awareness Month. And as a leading provider of Parkinson’s care in San Antonio, we wanted to take advantage of this yearly campaign and share information about what to expect after a diagnosis. PD is a neurological condition that affects movement and physical abilities, but it also has other cognitive symptoms that seniors and caregivers should be aware of.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
Often labeled as a “movement disorder,” PD is directly related to a lack of dopamine in the brain. When nerve cells no longer produce enough of this brain chemical, the central nervous system can’t help the body perform basic functions anymore. This causes marked changes in physical movement, such as:
- Lack of coordination
- Stiffness in the limbs
- Loss of balance
- Slowed walking
Beyond the Basics
As PD progresses, the symptoms worsen. The disease may become quite debilitating, causing more than just difficulties getting around. Nerve damage can make it difficult to talk at times, and some patients may even have a hard time eating and swallowing. Sleeping may also be challenging due to constant discomfort. For inexperienced family caregivers, help from a part-time or 24 hour caregiver in San Antonio can help to ensure a senior’s safety and comfort at home.
The physical effects are the most obvious signs of PD, but the disease can also lead to emotional and mental health issues. Anxiety and depression can develop out of deepened frustration over a loss of lifestyle. The emotional toll often extends to loved ones and caregivers due to the difficulties of seeing someone go through the changes PD can cause.
Know the Facts to Prepare for the Future
PD is most common in older adults, with the average onset beginning at age 60. It is also most common in elderly men. Still, the disease can affect both genders at any age. There is no cure for PD, which means that early detection is crucial to preventing worsening symptoms through treatment. Medications are the most common source of treatment, while other patients may require surgery to improve quality of life.
For more information about caring for a senior loved one with Parkinson’s disease, reach out to Home Care Assistance of San Antonio today. Our highly trained and licensed caregivers provide flexible hourly and live-in home care San Antonio families trust, and we never require any long-term contracts. Call (210) 495-6300 to request your complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.