April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and the theme for 2022 is preparing for the future. When you or a loved one are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, preparing for the future includes planning for and managing care related to this progressive disease. Here is some important information regarding Parkinson’s.

What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological disorder that affects movement. Symptoms of Parkinson’s include increasing tremors, particularly of the hands, rigid limbs, balance and gait problems, and slow movement or freezing known as Bradykinesia. Treatment options include medications and surgery.

How Does Parkinson’s Affect Quality of Life?

Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, which means that the symptoms manifest and change over time. Because of the interference with motor skills that occurs with Parkinson’s, people with the disease experience reduced capacity for activities of daily living. This can include operating machinery such as a car, and even simple activities like taking a walk can be difficult for someone with Parkinson’s symptoms. Other activities, like managing finances, can be impaired because there is a physical element to things like paying bills or simply making a phone call to a financial advisor. As the disease progresses, basic mobility, bathing, dressing, and feeding oneself become impossible without assistance.

Planning for Parkinson’s

Generally, a Parkinson’s diagnosis occurs after some symptoms have begun to show, but before the disease has progressed very far. This creates an opportunity to plan for the eventual degeneration of physical abilities that occurs in all people with Parkinson’s. Before reaching the critical phase, a person with Parkinson’s, or their loved ones, should consider where they want to receive care. If they want to remain at home, they will need to plan. This can include some basic or major remodeling that is best done before the need arises. Planning should also include identifying the care that is and will be needed with everything from getting to doctor’s appointments, basic housework, and physical care.

Based in Gaithersburg, CarePlus Home Health is a Montgomery County home healthcare provider, working with clients in Maryland and Washington, DC. We have a team of experienced caregivers who work with people with Parkinson’s, and we understand the challenge of meeting the change in a person’s abilities as it progresses. We begin our work with a client with a thorough in-home assessment, and we revisit our client’s needs regularly to make sure that they are receiving the care they need. For more information about our special services for people with Parkinson’s, contact us today.