Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system, including the motor system. Symptoms usually arrive slowly and ramp up, and can include shaking, difficulty moving and walking. Later symptoms can include cognitive issues, among other concerns. Working with palliative care providers can offer your senior other ways of managing her experience with Parkinson’s disease.
Balance and Mobility Issues
Parkinson’s affects so much of your senior’s movements, and her balance and mobility may deteriorate very quickly. This raises her risk of falling and of seriously injuring herself. Palliative care can help to arrange for physical therapy to assist your family member, and they can be there to help your senior to move safely.
Trouble Swallowing and Drooling
Another common problem with Parkinson’s disease are difficulty with swallowing and controlling drool. Palliative care teams can work with your senior’s doctors to help find medications and other therapies that can help with both of these issues. For instance, incorporating speech therapists or occupational therapy can help. These issues are serious concerns because they can contribute to aspiration pneumonia.
Communicating, both verbally and through body language, can be a huge problem for people with Parkinson’s disease. Written communication may be impossible, especially in the later stages. But palliative care professionals are well-versed in helping people who have communication difficulties to have their voices heard. This can be a huge help to your senior’s mental health.
Emotional and Psychological Issues
Parkinson’s disease has a huge impact on your senior’s mental health. She may experience anxiety about her symptoms, particularly if she has to go out in public and worries about what other people are thinking. There are also a great many losses that she experiences with Parkinson’s, which can lead to depression and other issues. Palliative care providers can help her to get the mental health assistance that she needs.
Increase of Symptoms Due to Reduced Response to Medications
Medications for Parkinson’s disease tend to lose their effectiveness as your senior continues to take them. This means that symptoms that were under control because of the medication may return. This can be difficult both physically and emotionally. Palliative care teams can help by working with your senior’s doctor to change her medications to find solutions that help even a little.
Palliative care can help to address symptoms and also ensure that your senior is involved with managing her care as much as she can be.