Each year in April people across the country engage in activities to help raise awareness and support a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, over one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease.  Understanding the causes of Parkinson’s disease is an area of emerging medical research. Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by a loss of the neurotransmitter dopamine. While this disease happens in the brain, the effects are noticed most in changes in physical mobility. People with Parkinson’s may experience the following:

  • Tremors of the hands, arms or legs that make it difficult to write or hold objects
  • Slow movements or weakness in arms and legs
  • Rigidity of muscles
  • Gait and balance problems
  • Loss of facial expression

Only a doctor can diagnosis Parkinson’s disease.  Because of growing research, people with Parkinson’s have many treatment options available to them. Talk to your doctor if you noticed any changes in your loved ones mobility.

How you can make a difference

Adapting to a new daily routine to make each day count is essential to supporting your loved one. The following are ways that caregivers can support seniors with Parkinson’s

Maintain schedule of appointments. Seniors with Parkinson’s need to attend doctors’ visits, speech therapy, occupational therapy and psychologist appointments. Helping schedule appointments and provide transportation is an important part of managing your loved ones health.

Pace activities. Help your loved one adapt to their new ability level by pacing activities and promoting frequent periods of rest.

Provide medication reminders. Caregivers support seniors by providing important reminders to help seniors follow their medication schedule.

Find activities you enjoy together. Provide companionship by helping seniors socialize and cultivate new areas of interest. For example, spending time learning about history together, visiting a museum or playing cards are all simple ways to help seniors maintain a positive and healthy outlook.

To learn more about Parkinson’s Disease, visit https://www.apdaparkinson.org/