Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disease that can manifest itself in a variety of ways. These include physical difficulties and cognitive problems that can make ordinary chores difficult. There are a variety of support alternatives available to help people with Parkinson’s disease enhance their quality of life.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects dopamine levels. Every year, doctors diagnose Parkinson’s disease in about 60,000 people in the United States, and there are nearly 1 million people with the disease.
Motor symptoms such as stiffness, tremors, and difficulty moving and coordination are all indications of Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s disease, on the other hand, may experience non-motor symptoms. According to experts, at least 50% of people with Parkinson’s disease will have depression, with up to 40% experiencing anxiety disorders.
According to the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, sadness and anxiety have the greatest influence on people with Parkinson’s disease’s overall health-even more so than the motor symptoms associated with the disease. Furthermore, the study reveals that the care patients receive has an impact on their quality of life.
In addition, a 2020 study reveals a link between loneliness and Parkinson’s disease symptoms. It was discovered that people with Parkinson’s disease who reported being lonely had 55 percent more severe symptoms.
As a result, in addition to receiving medical care, people with Parkinson’s disease should have a support structure in place in all aspects of their lives in order to improve their quality of life.
This article highlights various possible support alternatives for people with Parkinson’s disease.
People with Parkinson’s disease should have a variety of trusted people in their lives to whom they may turn for support, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Living with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be challenging, therefore support should be a big part of anyone’s treatment plan.
Support can come from a number of different sources. A person’s support system, for example, could include:
- a partner
- family members, such as parents or adult children
- close friends
- religious leaders, such as a minister, priest, rabbi, or imam
- people from their place of worship
- other people with Parkinson’s disease
- support group members
- social workers
- mental health professionals
The creation of a support plan may be beneficial. They could want to make a list of the people in their support system’s contact information, for example. The person’s needs may change over time, so it’s important that they have a trustworthy support system in place.
Joining support groups established exclusively for people with Parkinson’s disease may also be beneficial. Support groups provide a secure space for people to share their stories and connect with others. A person can seek information about local support groups from their doctor or look for them online.
The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) network offers information, support, and activities to people living with Parkinson’s disease across the United States. Dance lessons, yoga, choirs, and educational programs are among the virtual events available.
Using the APDA’s website’s search feature, people with Parkinson’s disease can identify local support groups, educational programs, health and wellness activities, and events.
The Parkinson’s Foundation also has resources, support groups, health classes, and educational activities in your area. The website’s search feature allows people to find information about local initiatives.
People with Parkinson’s disease have access to a variety of conveniently accessible web resources.
If a person cannot find a local support group or prefers to meet people online, they may want to join an online community. People with Parkinson’s disease can ask and answer questions, offer and receive advice and support, and interact with others who have the disease on the Parkinson’s Foundation’s website.
Other groups, such as the APDA, may collaborate with online communities to build online forums where people can exchange information and offer assistance.
The following are some other internet resources:
- podcasts such as Substantial Matters: Life and Science of Parkinson’s
- webinars such as the Parkinson’s Foundation Expert Briefings
- online libraries where people can access books, informative videos, and other useful texts
- YouTube videos by organizations such as the Parkinson’s Foundation
For both their physical and mental well-being, people with Parkinson’s disease should aim to keep active and engaged with others. Despite popular belief, people with Parkinson’s disease can engage in a variety of activities.
The Parkinson’s Foundation recommends that people begin by forming support networks in their communities. A person with Parkinson’s disease, for example, might desire to join local communities relevant to their hobbies in order to meet people who share their interests. If the person is religious, they may benefit from going to their local church.
Exercise can assist people with Parkinson’s disease improve their mobility, balance, gait, and overall quality of life. Similarly, physical therapy can assist people in managing their symptoms and improving their overall quality of life. Walking, swimming, and tai chi are examples of activities that can help a person with Parkinson’s disease improve their physical and emotional well-being.
A doctor can advise on the best type and amount of exercise for a particular person.
It is important that a person with Parkinson’s disease participates in social activities as much as possible and maintains a strong, supportive social network.
Groups for care partners
Support groups may also be beneficial to care partners. Care partners must remember to look for themselves as well as their loved ones, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation.
For individuals caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease, care partner support groups can provide emotional support as well as practical advice. A person can inquire with their doctor about local support groups or look them up online.
The following organizations and websites provide assistance to care partners:
- The APDA: The APDA provides resources and support for care partners as well as people with Parkinson’s disease.
- The Parkinson’s Foundation: This organization also provides information for caregivers.
- The Family Caregiver Alliance: This organization provides services for caregivers and the people who receive their care. FCA CareNav is an online resource for family caregivers.
Training and education
People with Parkinson’s disease, their care partners, and health and well-being professionals can all benefit from online training tools. Viewing webinars or reading articles can help people stay informed and up to date on the latest discoveries in Parkinson’s disease research.
It’s important for people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers to stay up to date on the best strategies to manage their symptoms.
The APDA, for example, provides instructions on a variety of issues, including:
- symptom management
- healthcare teams
- disability benefits
- clinical trials
First responders and fitness, health, and wellness professionals can also receive specialized Parkinson’s disease awareness training.
List of resources
The following are some helpful resources for people with Parkinson’s disease and their carers:
- the APDA
- the Parkinson’s Foundation
- the Family Caregiver Alliance
- the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
Managing Parkinson’s disease symptoms can be stressful and isolating for some people.
However, a person should not feel as if they must cope alone, as having a support structure in place can benefit both their mental and physical health, as well as their ability to continue to enjoy many aspects of life.