If you’re among the 7 to 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s disease, the focus will be on treating symptoms to improve your overall quality of life. While your doctor is likely to provide useful information, there are some important considerations often left out of such conversations. Here are a handful of things your physician might not tell you about PD, presented by Santa Rosa senior care professionals.
1. Drug Side Effects Can Be Just as Bad
Most patients are treated with a combination of the drugs carbidopa and levodopa to manage tremors. Many patients take additional drugs to treat symptoms, which may result in unexpected side effects that can include:
- Chronic insomnia
- Uncontrolled repetitive movements
- Obsessive-compulsive behaviors
- Urinary problems
- Lack of appetite
2. It Takes Time to Find the Right Treatments
The process of finding a combination of treatments that are effective for you can take several years. It’s often a trial and error process that can include dealing with unexpected symptoms and making several medication adjustments.
3. Neurologists Aren’t Necessarily PD Specialists
Not all neurologists have the adding training required to address issues specific to Parkinson’s. The Michael J. Fox Foundation offers advice on how to find a neurologist specializing in movement disorders on its website.
4. Exercise and PT Can Be Beneficial
One study suggests exercising 2 to 4 times a week can be beneficial for PD patients. Studies also suggest physical therapy may help improve coordination and stability.
5. Not All Parkinson’s Problems Are Neurological
Tremors and other neurological symptoms aren’t the only issues Parkinson’s patients may deal need to deal with at some point. Non-motor symptoms may include:
- Problems with speech
- Difficulty swallowing
- Mood changes
- Sleep issues
6. Support Groups Can Be a Much-Appreciated Resource
Being around people within the same age group can help seniors deal with concerns often not considered by a doctor. For instance, a group with PD patients over 60 may address concerns about not being able to interact in the same way with grandchildren.
In addition to offering comprehensive care for seniors with Parkinson’s, Home Care Assistance is also a leading provider of dementia and Alzheimer’s care Santa Rosa families trust. All of our caregivers are expertly trained, bonded, and insured, and we offer 24/7 availability to ensure seniors have help whenever they need it. To learn more about how our care services can benefit your elderly loved one, please give us a call at (707) 843.4368 today and schedule your free in-home consultation.