The degenerative effects of movement disorder diseases can be overwhelming to cope with and make it extremely difficult to perform normal daily living activities.
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic movement disorder that is also progressive, meaning that the symptoms of the disease not only continue, but worsen over time. Nearly one million people in the United States alone are living with Parkinson’s disease. Nobody knows the cause. And while there is presently no cure, there are medication and surgical options that allow the symptoms to be managed.
Parkinson kills vital nerve cells (called neurons) in the brain, while causing others to malfunction. Some of the dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends movement and coordination commands to the brain. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, dopamine amounts decrease, leaving the person with the inability to normally control movement.
What Parkinson symptoms can you assist with?
Caregivers can assist with:
- Resting Tremor – Hand, leg or body
- Bradykinesia – Slowness of movement
- Rigidity – Stiffness or inflexibility
- Postural Instability – Impaired balance and coordination
What kind of assistance can you provide?
Assistance with transfers and walking
With the onset of advanced Parkinson often comes the need for help to move within the home. Because of the nature of the disease, someone may require assistance at one time of day, but may be independent at another. Our caregivers:
- Offer assistance as needed.
- Understand the importance of helping someone relax their muscles before moving
- Coordinate efforts by using clear communication and signals, but keep conversation to a minimum when moving to allow great focus on walking or transfers
- Are trained in the use of transfer belts and mechanical lifts
Meal Preparation and Assistance with Feeding
Persons with Parkinson disease may have increased difficulty with eating. Our caregivers strive to make mealtime less stressful, safer, and more enjoyable. When needed, caregivers may:
- Choose foods that are easier to cut, chew and swallow.
- Focus on more frequent, but smaller meals.
- Alternate between solids and liquids during meals.
- Serve medications in applesauce to make swallowing pills easier
- Raise the height of the serving tray or plate to make mealtime easier, especially those with neck immobility.
- Report to our office should they notice any change in condition, for example an increased difficulty with swallowing
With many debilitating diseases, the simplest tasks become the most difficult, such as bathing and dressing. An experience caregiver can assist with:
- Oral hygiene
- Bathing – Making sure that skin folds are thoroughly washed and dried. If transfers to the tub or shower are unsafe, then the caregiver can provide a sponge bath.
- Transfer to the toilet
The caregiver will be thoroughly aware of the medication schedule and make sure that reminders for medication are given.
From dusting to vacuuming to a general “tidy-up”, the caregiver will make sure that the home is clean, comfortable, and safe.
Parkinson’s disease can make tasks like going to the store to buy groceries incredibly difficult. Our caregivers can go shopping based on a list for a patient’s diet, as well as running any other kinds of small errands. The goal should always be to focus on the proper diet of the patient and to make sure that proper ingredients are always on hand.
Take Patients to Appointments
Our caregivers will pick up a patient, get them to their doctor’s appointment, and get them home.
It’s important for Parkinson patients to keep busy. Our caregivers will keep them engaged with things that they like to do.
Parkinson patients require a specialized level of attention. Let Horizon Care Services get you the best caregivers for your particular situation. Call us at 877-227-3890 and ask about our Parkinson Patients Home Care Support Program.