Charlotte Home Health Experts Share Tips to Avoid Common Parkinson’s Complications

Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease receive the largest part of their care at home from loved ones, especially during the early stages of the disease. As a professional Charlotte home health care agency, we at Comprehensive Home Care understand the unique concerns experienced by family members who provide care for a senior with Parkinson’s, and want you to know you’re not alone! We’re always available to provide recommendations and to partner with you in ensuring your loved one receives the highest quality care at all times. 

To begin with, it’s helpful to keep these Parkinson’s-specific tips in mind: 

Nutrition: A healthy diet helps reduce cell loss in a person with Parkinson’s. Consuming antioxidants, such as those found in green tea, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, beans, and certain types of nuts, can help fight against oxidative stress. 

Chewing and Swallowing: Those with Parkinson’s commonly have some level of difficulty with chewing and swallowing. Each person caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s needs to learn the Heimlich maneuver to be prepared in case the person begins to choke. 

Preventing Falls: Seniors with Parkinson’s often have trouble with walking and balance, so it’s crucial to assess the home surroundings and make modifications to reduce the risk of falls. Installing items like customized toilet seats and grab bars where appropriate, and removing obstacles in and around the home is a great place to begin. 

Anxiety/Depression: Reducing the risk for depression and anxiety is a main factor in the battle against Parkinson’s. Keep a close eye on your loved one for signs of depression, and if noticed, make sure he or she sees the doctor for help as soon as possible. 

Medications: Parkinson’s treatments may have a number of side effects, and can affect the person in a variety of different ways. Some types of medication can cause hallucinations or nightmares, for example. Be sure your loved one’s doctor advises you about any anticipated side effects of medications so you can be prepared.  

We invite you to explore Comprehensive Home Care’s Charlotte home health care services to discover how respite care can lead to a better quality of life for both your loved one and the family members who are providing care. By partnering with our professional Charlotte home health care team to assist with some of the more routine aspects of caregiving, family members have the opportunity to spend more quality time together. Contact us at 704-333-5214 to learn more. 

The 5 Stages of Parkinson’s Disease and How Home Care Can Help Through Each

More likely to strike men, and more prevalent than MS, muscular dystrophy, and ALS combined, Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed in as many as 7 – 10 million people worldwide, with an additional 600,000 Americans diagnosed each year. And although each individual’s experience with Parkinson’s differs in level of severity, there are five main stages of progression that are routinely experienced by all.  

In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Comprehensive Home Care shares the facts below to help you better understand the stages of Parkinson’s disease: 

1st Stage: Referred to as early-stage Parkinson’s, this stage impacts the individual with mild signs or symptoms that may display as follows: 

  • Symptoms on only one side of the body 
  • Symptoms are bothersome, but not disabling 
  • Tremors or uncontrollable shaking in one limb may be apparent 
  • Loved ones can often pick up on differences in the individual’s posture, balance, and facial expressions 

2nd Stage: In the second stage of Parkinson’s, the person begins to display an inability to complete standard physical tasks: 

  • Symptoms now impact both sides of the body 
  • The person is experiencing minimal disability, but in most cases ambulatory or balance problems are noticed 
  • Posture begins to be affected 

3rd Stage: This stage is considered to be moderate Parkinson’s disease, and a higher degree of disability will begin to become apparent: 

  • There is a noticeable slowing down of the body’s movements 
  • Equilibrium impairment may lead to the inability to stand or walk straight 
  • There is a moderately significant overall dysfunction 

4th Stage: The fourth stage is indicative of advanced Parkinson’s and includes severe symptoms: 

  • Rigidity and bradykinesia, or sluggish movements are now at play 
  • The individual can no longer complete daily tasks and typically is unable to live independently 
  • Tremors may begin to lessen or disappear altogether for unknown reasons during this stage 

5th Stage: The fifth and final stage of the disease usually takes over the person’s physical movements: 

  • The person typically experiences a general decline in vitality and strength in both body and mind 
  • The person may possibly now be unable to walk or stand 
  • One-on-one care is required 

Comprehensive Home Care’s skilled caregivers are fully trained and experienced in all aspects of home care, and can help those with Parkinson’s disease and other conditions of aging to experience a better quality of life, right in the comfort of home. Whether the need is for help with daily personal care, transportation and accompaniment to doctors’ appointments, errand-running, light housework and meal preparation, or simply a kind companion to brighten up each day, our home care in Charlotte, NC is customized to each person’s individual needs and preferences. Call us any time to learn more at 704-333-5214.