Parkinson Disease Health (cont.)

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Parkinson's Disease Treatment and Self Care at Home

Treatment for Parkinson's disease may include medications, surgery, gene therapy, other therapies, or a combination of these.

Parkinson's Disease Self-Care at Home

The decision to care for a family member with Parkinson's disease is very complex.

  • In the beginning, the symptoms are minimal. The person may continue carrying out the activities of daily living, for example, eating, bathing, dressing, taking medications, and toileting. In fact, the person may continue to work and excel in other areas of life.
  • A time will come when the symptoms of the disease progress to the point of decline. It is, however, impossible to predict which symptoms will become most pronounced and debilitating. This makes it especially difficult in planning and arranging future care. Nevertheless, with adequate planning, providing for the person at home is feasible.
    • It must be determined what level of care is required and what financial and social resources will be available to accomplish home care. There will need to be a designated caregiver, preferably someone with few other family responsibilities.
    • With time, the needs of the person with Parkinson's disease will only increase. The demands on the caregiver will mount. In terms of living independence, the ability to safely cook, drive an automobile, or use public transportation will be lost. A caregiver will assume full responsibility.
    • The home should be large enough to accommodate the person's needs. Special medical equipment such as a walker, wheelchair, bedside commode, or chair lift may be required. In terms of added safety, dangerous and breakable objects will have to be removed.
    • Medications should not be accessible to the patient if confusion becomes part of the symptoms.
    • As with all things in life, a spectrum in the level of needs will vary from person to person. One person may need only moderate assistance. Someone else might require full-time care.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/12/2013

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