A Parkinson’s disease diagnosis impacts loved ones as well as the person diagnosed. Understanding what to anticipate as the disease progresses is key to being prepared for the changes in the future and to making life the best it can be each day.
During our three-part series, we’ll be sharing what to expect in each stage of Parkinson’s disease. Each blog will include information on what family caregivers can do to best help a senior loved one with Parkinson’s, and how Anthem Home Care, a provider of home care in Port Aransas, TX and the surrounding areas, can assist. Read part one and part three in our series.
Middle Stage Parkinson’s
As Parkinson’s advances into the middle stage, one of many top issues is losing balance, and fall prevention becomes important. Keep in mind, however, that throughout the middle stage of the illness, the individual with Parkinson’s often can still fully participate in day-to-day tasks like putting on clothes, tending to personal hygiene, and eating. It is essential to allow more time for the person to finish these activities, however, as you start to observe a noticeable slowing in self-care capabilities.
Some other changes to watch out for in this stage include:
- Increased tremors, stiffness, and rigidity
- Increased fatigue
- Changes to sleep routines as well as other sleeping issues
- Communication issues, like slurring words and a deeper and more hoarse tone of voice
The Impact of Middle Stage Parkinson’s on Family Caregivers
While the effect on caregiving duties has perhaps been very little up to this point, care needs begin to escalate in the middle stage of Parkinson’s. To further compound the challenges, trouble with communication can lead to stress for both the person with Parkinson’s and family care providers.
It’s typical for caregivers to face higher stress, worry, and anxiety at this stage in the disease. There may be concern over how to meet the progressively increasing needs of the individual they love. These feelings may be exacerbated by lack of sleep and/or other important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As is the case throughout the development of Parkinson’s, it’s vitally important for family caregivers to focus on taking care of themselves.
How Care Providers Can Help with Middle Stage Parkinson’s Care
One good way to provide support in this stage is to implement modifications to the home environment to ensure both safety and ongoing independence. Even the simplest modifications can make a positive change. For example, try:
- Eliminating throw rugs, clutter, extension cords, and anything that may pose a tripping danger
- Installing handrails and grab bars in the bathroom
- Purchasing clothing and shoes that are more convenient for self-dressing, like shoes with Velcro instead of laces, pull-on pants, shirts with snaps instead of buttons, etc.
- Replacing the person’s manual toothbrush and razor with electric models
- Exploring adaptive tools like knives that work with a rocking motion, utensils with larger, easier-to-hold handles, levered door handles to replace knobs, etc.
Anthem Home Care’s award-winning in-home care team is here to work with you through every stage of Parkinson’s. We can help you devise a proactive plan of care that will guarantee all needs are met now, and as they change in the future.
It’s important to understand that providing care should never be a solo undertaking. Contact us at 361-643-2323 for a no-cost in-home consultation to learn more about our in-home care services and how we can ease the transitions through Parkinson’s both for you and the senior you love.