Caring When You Have Parkinson’s

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What is Parkinson’s?

            Parkinson’s is a type of neurodegenerative condition that, due to nerve cell loss in the brain, causes a person to have difficulty controlling their movement properly. While symptoms may be mild to start out with, they can eventually progress to the point where they really disrupt a person’s way of living. Generally, these symptoms will progress fairly slowly over time but it important to understand that things vary from one person to the next. Keep reading to learn about symptoms, causes, treatment options, and how Suffolk Carers Matter can help you!

Symptoms

  • Tremor
  • Slow movement
  • Rigid muscles
  • Balance issues
  • Poor posture
  • Speech changes
  • Difficulty writing
  • Problems sleeping
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Memory problems
  • Emotional changes
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bladder issues
  • Difficulty eating/chewing

Causes

Parkinson’s is caused by nerve cell loss in the area of the brain that controls dopamine production. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is responsible for helping to initiate movement in the body. When a person has Parkinson’s, this nerve loss causes them to have more difficulty getting around, which may cause them to move more slowly or abnormally. The actual cause of the nerve loss is still unknown, but it is thought that a number of factors contribute to it in one’s genetic makeup and environment.

Treatment

            While Parkinson’s is currently incurable, there are many different routes of treatment that can be taken. Various types of therapy, such as occupational therapy and physiotherapy, are able to help tackle many of the symptoms that go along with the disease. Other routes of treatment may include things like dietary changes, medication, and even surgery in some situations.

How can Parkinson’s Disease affect me as a carer?

As a carer, there’s no denying that Parkinson’s can affect you in more way than one. Things like limited mobility and memory issues can certainly have an impact on how capable you are to care for your loved one. As a carer with Parkinson’s, problems with balance and slow movement may cause you to find it to be more complicated to fulfill all of your caring responsibilities in addition to taking care of yourself.

If this is something that you are struggling with, Suffolk Carers Matter is here to help! We can help provide you with emotional support, information, advice, and guidance to help keep yourself healthy physically and mentally as well as being the best carer that you can be. If you would like to contact us, give us a call on 01284 333035 or send us a message via live chat on our website. Our team of carer advisors would be more than happy to help assist you!