On April 11 every year, World Parkinson’s Day is observed globally to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease. This condition affects the nervous system of the patient leading to movement problems such as tremors. Currently, there is no cure available for Parkinson’s disease. World Parkinson’s Day is an opportunity to create awareness about this condition and extend support to those having it.
To raise awareness this World Parkinson’s Day 2023 about Parkinson’s disease, let’s learn more about what this condition is. So please keep reading
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a type of progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system that leads to unintentional or uncontrollable body movements. In Parkinson’s disease, the degeneration of the nerve cells found in nigra occurs. Nigra is a part of the brain that is responsible for controlling movements. As a result of this degeneration of the nerve cells, their ability to produce dopamine is lost.
What are the various early signs of Parkinson’s disease?
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop slowly over time. Parkinson’s signs and symptoms differ from individual to individual. In most instances, the early signs of this disease are mild and may not be noticed. The various early signs of Parkinson’s disease may include the following,
- Improper balance and coordination
- Decreased or a loss of sense of smell (anosmia)
- Changes in the voice
- Cramped and small handwriting
- Changes in the nerves controlling facial muscles, which leads to fixed facial expressions
- Slow movements
- A stooped posture
- Stiffening of the arms and legs
- Getting stuck when walking
- The decreased swinging of the arms when walking
- Parkinsonian gait, which is the shuffling of steps when walking
- Soft voice
Other associated symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
The various other associated Parkinson’s Disease symptoms may include the following,
- Skin issues such as seborrheic dermatitis
- Mood changes such as anxiety and depression
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Trouble in chewing and swallowing
- Memory and attention problems
Treatment for Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured. In most cases, patients with Parkinson’s disease are treated with medications that provide symptomatic relief to the patients. While medications are the primary treatment option for Parkinson’s patients, surgical intervention is the secondary treatment option, where an implant device is placed surgically to deliver a mild electrical current to apportion the brain. This technique is known as deep brain stimulation.
How can you support a loved one who has Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease affects not only the patient but also the patient’s family. It can take a major toll on the family to see their loved one experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. A patient with Parkinson’s requires the utmost love, care, and support from family and friends.
There are various ways in which you can support your loved one with Parkinson’s disease to manage the condition better.
Here are the 7 best ways in which you can extend support to your loved one who has Parkinson’s disease,
- Listen to them
Having a condition like Parkinson’s disease with no cure can be extremely upsetting. The patient with Parkinson’s disease is also likely to have mood issues such as anxiety and depression. During such tough times, all the patient need is a shoulder to lean on. You can support your loved one by extending a shoulder to lean on and a friendly ear to vent their feelings to you. It is essential to listen carefully to patients with Parkinson’s disease and let them know that you are there for them.
- Learn everything you need to know about Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with no cure, and as a caregiver, it is essential for you to know everything about this disease. Having knowledge about the symptoms, causes, treatment, etc., of Parkinson’s disease can help you in providing better care to the patient. You can learn more about Parkinson’s disease from various books and websites of reputed organizations. Additionally, you can also learn more about Parkinson’s disease from the patient’s doctor.
- Make the patient feel normal
A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is already stressful. The last thing that the patient needs is to feel odd about their condition. Hence, it is essential to make the patient feel normal. Avoid reminding the patient about their condition time and again. Instead, talk to them normally, and include them in everyday activities.
- Be aware of the worsening symptoms
As Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition, its symptoms worsen over time. It is essential to look out for worsening symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as changes in balance, speech, walking, fatigue, and mood of the patient. You can help your loved one by offering support and making them seek support from a mental health specialist. This is because it is common for the patient to feel depressed with Parkinson’s disease. Without prompt treatment and support, the patient’s condition can worsen.
- Help the patient with their everyday activities
As Parkinson’s disease has an effect on the patient’s movements, it can hamper their daily activities. As a caregiver, ensure to offer help to your loved one with Parkinson’s disease by assisting them in carrying out these tasks. Over time, the patient might feel hesitant or embarrassed to ask for help. However, it is essential to extend support and offer to run their simple activities like cooking, driving to the doctor’s appointment, etc.
- Help your loved one by encouraging them to join a support group
Joining a support group will help your loved one feel better emotionally as they get to share their feeling and thoughts with people who know exactly what they are experiencing. A support group for Parkinson’s disease may also help the patient feel less alone. Hence, encourage your loved one to join a support group.
- Stay patient
Being a progressive condition, the patient’s ability to walk, talk and perform everyday tasks may be affected. However, at this time, it is essential for you to be patient and help them out. As a caregiver, it is essential to encourage the patient to use a wheelchair or walker if they find it difficult to walk or seek help from a speech therapist to improve their speech. Parkinson’s disease can stress out the patient’s loved ones, too, but it is essential to understand what the patient is going through and be patient with them.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Where the exact causes of this condition are not known, it is believed that a combination of genetic and environmental factors may be causing it. A patient with Parkinson’s disease requires the utmost love and care. Hence, this World Parkinson’s Day 2023, raise awareness about the importance of extending care and support to patients having this condition. To observe this World Parkinson’s Day 2023, ensure to create awareness about the various symptoms of this condition to ensure that Parkinson’s patients receive timely treatment and support.
We at Ayu Health provide the best treatment, care, and support to patients having Parkinson’s disease. With a team of highly skilled, trained, and experienced doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, we believe in providing the best and most affordable care to our patients.