Thursday, 17 August 2017

Parkinson's - Symptoms & help

This is a different sort of post from me but I thought it might help someone out there.

I believe Parkinson's is a misunderstood disease.  My family has had some first hand experience. I am by no means an expert & as a family we are still researching treatment and trying to find solutions but what I do know may assist you.

I thought Parkinson's was just tremors & effects the elderly.

Tremors is actually only the tip of the iceberg and NOT present in all cases.

For my dad the main symptom was reduced mobility & problems with balance. It was a GP in October 2015 that first highlighted that my dad's shuffle was hugely characteristic of Parkinson's.  He was officially diagnosed in January 2016 but we feel now it had probably had Parkinson's for 2 or 3 years prior.

For those that do not know the symptoms are -

Main symptoms
Tremor (shaking)
Slowness of movement
Rigidity (stiffness)

Other symptoms
Bladder and bowel problems
Eye problems
Falls and dizziness
Fatigue
Freezing
Pain
Restless legs syndrome
Skin and sweating problems
Sleep problems
Speech and communication problems

Mental health symptoms
Anxiety
Dementia
Depression
Hallucinations and delusions
Memory problems

I had no idea that Parkinson's could cause memory loss & this has been a huge issue for us.  After a couple of tricky months especially over Christmas 2016 we now have carers who visit daily.

If you require this sort of help for someone contact your Adult Social Care Unit through the council or get a GP referral.  It did take approximately 4 months to get the care plan in place but obviously this will differ in each council area.

To help prevent falls my dad lives downstairs & has hand rails fitted to assist movement.

He is currently on Madopar and whilst the improvement seemed minimal you can tell a huge difference if he fails to take his medication.

Madopar is used in Parkinson's disease to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain.  The neurotransmitter dopamine is known to be reduced or absent in the brains of people with Parkinson's disease, and this is thought to be the cause of the disease's symptoms.

There are other medications available and it is probably not a one size fits all but Madopar might be a good first step.

I hope this helps someone and take care.

Emma xxx

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