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Things To Help Parkinson’s

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What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Bev said, I love seeing the trees, feeling the breeze on a summer day, sitting in front of the pond, and listening to the birds sing.

Parkinsons News Today columnist Dr. C wrote that gardening helps him manage his PD because of all the health benefits.

A 2019 article published in the journal Scientific Reports shared the benefits of spending time in an outdoor setting.

Journalist Jim Robbins summarized the findings of this study in his 2020 article about the benefits of nature for Yale Environment 360. He wrote, people who spent two hours a week in green spaces local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who dont.

Not everyone with PD may be able to spend two hours a week in nature, but the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinsons notes that everyone can do something. An article on the organizations website includes the following suggestions.

What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsons warning signs can be motor symptoms like slow movements, tremors or stiffness. However, they can also be non-motor symptoms. Many of the possible non-motor symptoms can appear years or even decades ahead of motor symptoms. However, non-motor symptoms can also be vague, making it difficult to connect them to Parkinson’s disease.

Non-motor symptoms that might be early warning signs include:

When Should I See My Healthcare Provider Or When Should I Seek Care

You should see your healthcare provider as recommended, or if you notice changes in your symptoms or the effectiveness of your medication. Adjustments to medications and dosages can make a huge difference in how Parkinsons affects your life.

When should I go to ER?

Your healthcare provider can give you guidance and information on signs or symptoms that mean you should go to the hospital or seek medical care. In general, you should seek care if you fall, especially when you lose consciousness or might have an injury to your head, neck, chest, back or abdomen.

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The Pencil Grip Heavyweight Mechanical Pencil Set Tpg

Courtesy of Amazon

  • Aids in developing hand strength and motor skills

  • Can be used by righties or lefties

  • Customers complain about inability to refill lead

  • Not overly durable or well-constructed

Make your loved one’s day-to-day a little easier, starting with their writing utensils.

Accomplishing tasks can take longer due to slowness of movements, explains Dr. Nwabuobi. Writing and performing other fine motor tasks such as putting on jewelry or shaving can become more laborious due to tremor. Weighted pens are a great way for those with Parkinsons to cut down on tremors and gain better control of their hand while writing, making the process easier and handwriting more readable.

This weighted pen from The Pencil Grip is said to help people develop better motor control and build up strength through regular use. It weighs four ounces to add a nice level of heftiness and bring a smooth finish to any writing efforts.

  • Tracks all daily movements, not limited to exercise only

  • Monitors your sleep and heart rate

  • Swimproof for water exercise

  • More expensive than a regular fitness tracker

  • May not be comfortable for everyone to wear on the wrist

  • Needs to be charged frequently

Tips For Starting Lifestyle Changes

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How do you live with Parkinson’s disease? The answer is different for everyone. Adjusting to your symptoms and the lifestyle changes you need to make can be difficult. As you start adjusting your routine, keep these tips in mind.

Some people also find it helpful to talk to others who are experiencing similar situations. Look for a Parkinson’s disease support group in your area or join an online community. You can share experiences, hear stories from other people with similar symptoms and encourage one another to adapt to lifestyle changes.

Also Check: How Bad Can Parkinson’s Disease Get

Tips For Yourself As A Caregiver

While caring for someone with Parkinsons disease, its also important to care for yourself. These are some tips that can be helpful:

  • Allow yourself time to process your emotions: Your loved one may not be the only person struggling to accept their diagnosis and prognosis. You may feel like youre in an alternate reality, where your whole world has turned upside down. Take the time you need to process your emotions so that you can stabilize yourself and be a source of support for them.
  • Set realistic goals:Caregiving can be stressful and take a lot of work. It can be helpful to set realistic goals for yourself and determine your limits.
  • Forgive imperfections: There may be times when youre unable to do everything you planned to or as well as you hoped to. Be kind to yourself accept that youre human and everything may not always be perfect.
  • Explore community resources: It can be helpful to locate medical services, support groups, and other community services for your loved one as well as yourself in advance before you need them.

Can Parkinson’s Disease Be Cured

No, Parkinson’s disease is not curable. However, it is treatable, and many treatments are highly effective. It might also be possible to delay the progress and more severe symptoms of the disease.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Parkinson’s disease is a very common condition, and it is more likely to happen to people as they get older. While Parkinson’s isn’t curable, there are many different ways to treat this condition. They include several different classes of medications, surgery to implant brain-stimulation devices and more. Thanks to advances in treatment and care, many can live for years or even decades with this condition and can adapt to or receive treatment for the effects and symptoms.

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Incidence Of Parkinsons Disease

Its estimated that approximately four people per 1,000 in Australia have Parkinsons disease, with the incidence increasing to one in 100 over the age of 60. In Australia, there are approximately 80,000 people living with Parkinsons disease, with one in five of these people being diagnosed before the age of 50. In Victoria, more than 2,225 people are newly diagnosed with Parkinsons every year.

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Bathing And Personal Care Tips

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For someone with Parkinsons disease, showering is typically preferred to taking baths because getting in and out of the tub becomes increasingly difficult. However, some people with PD may eventually experience changes in the brain that affect memory, judgement and focus. The Alzheimers Association estimates that 50 to 80 percent of Parkinsons patients experience these and other symptoms of dementia. Individuals living with Parkinsons disease dementia and Lewy body dementia may benefit from some adaptations, assistive devices and caregiving techniques that are used in dementia care.

For example, many dementia patients are confused or even frightened by the sound and feel of running water while showering. If your loved one requires assistance with bathing, be sure to give them time to adapt to the situation and understand what is happening. Gently talk them through the process, ensure they are warm and comfortable, and start by cleansing less sensitive areas of the body, such as the feet and hands, before proceeding to other areas.

Read:Bathing Tips and Techniques for Dementia Caregivers

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What Medications And Treatments Are Used

Medication treatments for Parkinsons disease fall into two categories: Direct treatments and symptom treatments. Direct treatments target Parkinsons itself. Symptom treatments only treat certain effects of the disease.


Medications that treat Parkinsons disease do so in multiple ways. Because of that, drugs that do one or more of the following are most likely:

Several medications treat specific symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms treated often include the following:

  • Erectile and sexual dysfunction.
  • Hallucinations and other psychosis symptoms.

Deep brain stimulation

In years past, surgery was an option to intentionally damage and scar a part of your brain that was malfunctioning because of Parkinsons disease. Today, that same effect is possible using deep-brain stimulation, which uses an implanted device to deliver a mild electrical current to those same areas.

The major advantage is that deep-brain stimulation is reversible, while intentional scarring damage is not. This treatment approach is almost always an option in later stages of Parkinson’s disease when levodopa therapy becomes less effective, and in people who have tremor that doesnt seem to respond to the usual medications.

Experimental treatments

Researchers are exploring other possible treatments that could help with Parkinsons disease. While these arent widely available, they do offer hope to people with this condition. Some of the experimental treatment approaches include:

Getting A Medical Certificate

Before you travel, ask your GP, specialist or Parkinsons nurse for a medical certificate or letter that explains you have Parkinsons and lists the medication youre taking.

It should also include any other medical equipment, such as needles and syringes, and electronic devices you’re using.

You might need this for when you go through customs or if you become ill.

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Make Your Loved Ones Life A Little Easier With These Thoughtful Gifts

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Parkinsons disease is a progressive disorder that develops as a result of losing dopamine-producing neurons. These cells are mainly located in the part of the brain called substantia nigra pars compacta, explains movement disorders neurologist and Parkinsons expert Lynda Nwabuobi, MD. With degeneration of these cells and hence, depletion of dopamine, Parkinsons disease includes symptoms such as tremor, bradykinesia , and rigidity manifest.

This condition can make it more difficult to complete everyday tasks, like moving about the house, putting on clothes, and even speaking. It can be challenging to manage Parkinsons, especially on your own, so having friends and family there to support really can make the difference. Dr. Nwabuobi says its important to remember that Parkinsons is not fatal and many people live full enriched lives with the condition.

One of the ways to help someone in your life dealing with Parkinsons this holiday season is to give them a present that not only makes them smile, but works to make their life more manageable and puts some level of control back in their hands. Here are some gift ideas theyll be sure to love and appreciate.

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Who Does It Affect

Taking part to improve how Parkinsons symptoms are measured

The risk of developing Parkinsons disease naturally increases with age, and the average age at which it starts is 60 years old. Its slightly more common in men or people designated male at birth than in women or people designated female at birth .

While Parkinsons disease is usually age-related, it can happen in adults as young as 20 .

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Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Syndrome

If you suddenly stop taking dopamine agonists, this can lead to dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome, which can cause symptoms such as depression, anxiety or pain.

Any withdrawal from Parkinsons drugs needs to be done in a tapered way, under the supervision of a health professional.

Speak to your specialist for advice.

Give Yourself Time To Adjust

Over time, youll likely become an expert in Parkinsons disease but right now, youre a newbie. Give yourself time for the diagnosis and all it might mean to sink in. Then, get educated: Ask your doctor for information you can take home and read, find other people with Parkinsons in your community or online to talk to, and browse sites like the National Parkinson Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

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How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better And How Long Will It Take To Recover

The time it takes to recover and see the effects of Parkinson’s disease treatments depends strongly on the type of treatments, the severity of the condition and other factors. Your healthcare provider is the best person to offer more information about what you can expect from treatment. The information they give you can consider any unique factors that might affect what you experience.

What Types Of Sensors Are Available

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There are also multiple methods of collecting the data:

  • Data passively captured without a patient having to wear any new sensors for example, capturing typing data by placing software on a patients computer with the patient continuing to interact with the keyboard as he/she normally does. Typing data that is collected can include how long a patient spends touching a key and how long it takes between touching one key and the next.
  • Data passively captured by a sensor without the patient having to do any additional tasks the sensor can be placed on the wrist, ankle or trunk. The sensor can also be in the patients cell phone.
  • Data actively captured by a sensor the patient wears the sensor and then performs certain tasks beyond what he/she typically does in his/her daily activities. This could include finger tapping, for example. Sometimes the sensors are too complicated or large for the activities to be performed at home, and the patient needs to come to a neurophysiology lab for the data collection.

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Treatment Options For Parkinsons

While there is no cure for Parkinsons at this time, there are a number of treatments that can ease symptoms. Parkinsons medications are the mainstay of treatment, but modalities are often used in combination. Physical, occupational and speech therapy can be critical to the treatment plan. Surgical options also have an important role for a subset of patients with Parkinsons disease. Finally, complementary therapies can be used to treat some Parkinsons disease symptoms. Your physician and other healthcare professionals can help you determine the best treatment plan for your symptoms.

Tips To Get Through A Bad Day

So what can you do when youve landed on a grueling day where everything seems to be challenging? Well you can follow my list of things you can do this very moment that can help when you have a Parkinsons bad day.

  • Be present with yourself: Sometimes just sitting in the moment, taking inventory of how your body feels, not to criticize, but just to be aware of how youre feeling. Close your eyes and focus on deep breathes, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Parkinsons can be scary, especially when it feels like you have lost control over your body. But slowing down your worrisome thoughts and focusing on breathing can help calm your body.
  • Take your medications as directed: We have all been guilty of it. You forgot to take a dose of medication, or you cant remember if you already took it. No judgment. It happens to the best of us except for me, Im perfect. Wink. Find ways to eliminate this possible issue that can worsen your symptoms. If you take your medications based on the clock set a timer on your phone to go off each time youre due for a dose. If you take your medications based on activities during your day, such as after breakfast, purchase a pill dispenser that you can fill once a week, so you can see if you have already devoured your meds. This will guarantee that you will stay ahead of the game and not let your Parkinsons ruin your day.
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    Seek Support From Others

    Friends and family can be a great source of help when youâre dealing with Parkinsonâs. But sometimes, itâs a relief to be able to relate to someone who knows what itâs like to deal with the disease. In-person or online support groups can offer comfort and practical advice. They can also help you feel less alone. Ask your doctor, nurse, or social worker to suggest local or online groups you can join.

    Sometimes people have problems that are better addressed in a one-on-one atmosphere. By taking part in individual counseling, you may be more able to express sensitive or private feelings you have about your condition and its impact on your lifestyle and relationships.

    Itâs common to feel depressed and anxious, too. Check in with a mental health professional if you’re having a hard time enjoying life the way you used to, or if you are often angry, sad, or unlike your usual self.

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    So what are the differences that you see?

    What in what way?

    Is that something youve found out by trying it out or was it?

    Some people said that therapies like yoga, Tai Chi and massage helped them to relax and to feel as if they were doing something positive to help themselves. Relaxation meant relief from pain, spasm and feelings of stress. Many people, several of whom had noticed that their emotional state greatly affected their symptoms, noted that relaxation helped calm their tremor, helped them to sleep and made them feel generally better. Joe had tried various things and felt they did more for his mood than for his physical symptoms’ I think it helped me feel I was doing something to be better, made me feel lifted a bit and of course attention to ones body, physical attention, massage, acupuncture. Anything like that makes one feel better, makes one feel loved really.

    Last reviewed May 2017.

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