April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month; according to The Parkinson’s Foundation, approximately 60,000 American’s are diagnosed with PD each year. Parkinson’s Awareness Month is designed to raise awareness and provide information to those unfamiliar with the disease and its effects.
What is Parkinson’s?
Nearly one million people in the US are living with Parkinson’s, but what exactly is it? Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects dopamine-producing neurons in specific brain areas. In layman’s terms, the disease slowly damages the central nervous system. Symptoms of PD can develop slowly over several years and are often different from one person to another. People with PD may experience tremors in their hands, slowness of movement, limb rigidity, and balance or gate problems. The cause of PD is unknown, and while there are some treatment options available, there is currently no cure. Those with the disease can sustain a productive lifestyle when using their resources and staying active in the PD community. It is important to note that living a quality life will depend on how individuals understand and plan to manage their symptoms.
Find 10 Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease here
As previously mentioned, there are no standard treatments for Parkinson’s because not everyone’s symptoms are the same. Doctors may suggest medications or surgical therapy as well as making lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes recommended by outpatient therapists include:
- Meet with others that have PD to discuss and learn more about the disease
- Schedule regular exercise to help with movement and cognitive function
- Participation in a singing group or class to help improve voice and communication
- Learn to cook or try new healthy recipes
- Plant a small indoor garden that’s easy to manage
- Complete crossword, puzzles, card games, or word searcher to help exercise your brain
- If you can’t visit friends or family in person, try to make phone calls or video calls to them regularly
It is always important to consult your physician before making any significant changes.
The most agreed-upon lifestyle change is to get involved in the Parkinson’s community. Find others that understand what you’re going through and get support. The community is passionate about providing help to those living with this disease. They host events, offer news updates, have support groups, blogs, and many other resources. Whether it’s you or someone you love, don’t go through it alone. The Parkinson’s community offers a variety of services to help you live a full life.
This community is always looking for more to support and not just during April. Look for local events or charities dedicated to raising funds for PD research. You can also help year-round by checking out the “Ways to Give” page on The Parkinson Foundation’s website.
Home Care Services
If you or someone you know needs assistance with daily living, please reach out to one of our locations in your area. We can provide the compassionate and dependable home care that will help you remain safely at home. Visit our website to find a location near you at https://www.assistinghands.com/location-finder/