6 Things the Doctor Isn’t Telling You about Parkinson’s

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If your senior loved one is among the 7 to 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s disease, the focus will be on treating symptoms to boost his or her overall quality of life. While your loved one’s doctor is likely to provide useful information, some important considerations are often left out of such conversations. Here are a handful of things the physician might not tell you and your loved one about Parkinson’s.

 

1. Drug Side Effects Can Be as Bad as Symptoms Related to the Disease

Most individuals with Parkinson’s are treated with a combination of the drugs carbidopa and levodopa to manage tremors. Many take additional drugs to treat symptoms, which may result in unexpected side effects that can include:

  • Chronic insomnia
  • Uncontrolled repetitive movements
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors
  • Urinary problems
  • Lack of appetite

Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease can live at home, but they may need assistance from family members or other caregivers to do so safely. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Reston Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. Our home caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

 

2. It Takes Time to Find the Right Treatments

The process of finding an effective combination of treatments for your loved one could take several months or even years. It’s often a trial-and-error process that can include unexpected symptoms and several medication adjustments.

 

3. Neurologists Aren’t Necessarily Parkinson’s Specialists

Not all neurologists have the additional training required to address issues specific to Parkinson’s. The Michael J. Fox Foundation offers advice on how to find a neurologist specializing in movement disorders on its website.

 

4. Exercise & Physical Therapy Can Be Beneficial

One study suggests exercising two to four times a week can be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s. Studies also suggest physical therapy may increase coordination and stability.

Your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with exercise and everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated senior care providers can reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

 

5. Not All Parkinson’s Symptoms Are Neurological

Tremors and other neurological symptoms aren’t the only issues seniors with Parkinson’s may face at some point. Non-motor symptoms may include:

  • Problems with speech
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Mood changes
  • Constipation
  • Sleep issues

 

6. Support Groups Can Be a Much-Appreciated Resource

Being around people in the same age group can help seniors address concerns doctors often don’t consider. For instance, a support group for older adults with Parkinson’s may discuss seniors’ concerns about not being able to interact with their grandchildren in the same ways they used to.

Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging, especially in its final stages, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Reston families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To learn more about our highly trained caregivers, call us today.