Parkinson’s disease is a life-altering condition, which affects the brain. A degenerative, neurological disease, Parkinson’s can cause a diverse range of symptoms. No two people are the same, and one person may have very different symptoms to another. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there are effective ways of managing symptoms and enhancing quality of life. At Home Caring, we understand the challenges faced by those who have Parkinson’s and their families, and we provide expert Parkinson’s disease care and support.
What exactly is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition, which occurs when there is a lack of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine levels start to fall as a result of damage to the cells that are responsible for producing this vital chemical. Once the cells are damaged, and they’re not able to produce dopamine, symptoms start to appear. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, or a chemical messenger, which enables the body to make smooth, regulated movements. Once dopamine levels plummet, movements lack control, and this is why people with Parkinson’s often experience tremors that become more pronounced with time. It is estimated that around 4 in every 1,000 people in Australia have Parkinson’s disease. The condition is much more common in older people, and the figure rises to 1 in every 100 people in over 60’s. Parkinson’s is also more prevalent in men than in women.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
One of the most significant challenges for those caring for the elderly with Parkinson’s disease or looking after a loved one who has developed early onset Parkinson’s is the range of symptoms. This is a disease that can cause a vast array of different symptoms and signs, and no two people will experience identical sets of symptoms. The onset of symptoms can also vary from one individual to another. Some people find that they start to notice signs long before they receive a clinical diagnosis and some find that their symptoms fluctuate and vary in severity. Although every individual is different, there are some common characteristics. The three main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
- Tremors and shaking
- Slowed movement (also known as bradykinesia)
- Increased stiffness and rigidity
Other symptoms may include:
- Poor posture and stooping
- Disturbed sleep
- Changes in bowel habits
- Muscle cramps
- Increased risk of falling
- Difficulty swallowing
- Speech problems
- Increased risk of depression and anxiety
Tailored Parkinson’s disease care with Home Caring
At Home Caring, we know that caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease can be incredibly tough, both physically and mentally. You may not have the time or the energy to be able to care for your relative, you might lack the necessary medical training, or you may not feel confident in your ability to provide the level of care required. Parkinson’s disease home care is designed not only to support and assist the individual, but also to provide respite and support for their family. The nature of this disease means that it can pose different challenges on a daily basis, and it can be very difficult to manage without the help of professional caregivers.
We have a team of specialist nurses and caregivers on hand to provide a range of services that promote independence at the same time as ensuring safety, managing pain and controlling symptoms. Our staff is also trained to assist and support family members and close friends to enable them to help out when they visit.
At Home Caring, we want to help you care for your loved one in the best way possible, and we want you to be able to go about your days safe in the knowledge that your loved one is in the best hands. We have a rigorous recruitment process, and all our caregivers go through enhanced checks.
Designing a Parkinson’s disease care plan
We offer a bespoke in home care service, which is tailored to the needs of the individual. With Parkinson’s disease, symptoms can vary hugely, and one day can be totally different to the next. As an experienced home care service provider, we understand the challenges Parkinson’s can pose to both clients and their families, and we work with you to create customised care packages that are designed to meet clinical needs and satisfy personal preferences.
We offer a flexible range of services that includes:
- Washing, dressing, cooking and meal preparation, cleaning, grooming and personal care
- Companionship and emotional support
- Help with socialisation, community engagement, and interaction
- Physical exercise and mobility assistance
- Assistance with day to day tasks
- Creating a safe and secure environment that facilitates independent living
- Pain relief and symptom management
Catering for individual requirements and preferences
Our care packages are designed to enable and facilitate independence and reduce the severity of symptoms, but it’s also crucial to us to respond to and cater for individual preferences to enhance wellbeing and reduce anxiety. If your loved one is used to a certain routine, for example, they watch a TV programme at 5 o’clock every day, we don’t want to come in and make changes that will unsettle them or prevent them from feeling at ease in their own home. We make an effort to get to know you and your loved one during the initial consultations and meetings to ensure that we can pave the way for a seamless transition and settle into doing things just the way the individual likes them done. It’s important to us that we make the client feel comfortable and confident from the outset. With Parkinson’s disease, continuity of care is critical, as symptoms can be exacerbated by change and anxiety. We aim to provide a small group of caregivers for every client to increase familiarity and prevent unease.
Companionship and support
Providing practical assistance and medical care are essential for those living with Parkinson’s disease, but the importance and value of companionship and emotional support should never be underestimated. As well as helping out with jobs around the house and administering medical treatments and therapies, our team is there to talk, chat, listen, reminisce and provide company. Coping with a diagnosis can be incredibly tough, especially as there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease and symptoms are progressive. Having somebody to talk to or pass time with can make a huge difference to wellbeing and reduce the risk of loneliness and depression. Our specially trained caregivers have experience in looking after and supporting clients with Parkinson’s disease, and we can match support assistants based on their skill set, but also their personality. Creating bonds and fostering trust is key.
When we provide care for a client with Parkinson’s disease, we go above and beyond to ensure that their family feels supported too. If you have any concerns or questions, or you’d like advice or even somebody to talk to, we’re available 24 hours a day. The services we provide are not just a means of enhancing quality of life for the client. They also enable you, as a family or a group of friends, to make the most of the time you are able to spend together. Whether that means taking care of washing, dressing and tidying the living room so that you can have lunch together, or arranging overnight respite care so that you have the energy to care for your loved one during the day, we can help.
Our Parkinson’s disease care services
We provide a flexible range of Parkinson’s disease care services, which includes:
- Hourly sessions
- Multiple daily visits
- 24-hour and full-time care
- Overnight respite
- Specialist nursing
- Access to support and expertise 24 hours a day
We can undertake everything from personal care and household tasks to administering complex medication regimes, and we also provide assistance with social activities, community engagement and keeping up with hobbies and interests. Whatever your needs, we can work with you or your family to create a tailored care plan for Parkinson’s disease that suits you.
Taking the first step
The prospect of inviting somebody into your home or the home of a loved one who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease can be daunting and distressing. We understand that it can be difficult to take that first step, and we’re here to support, advise and reassure you. If you feel that a loved one would benefit from Parkinson’s disease home care, we’ll do everything we can to minimise stress and disruption. During the initial consultation, we will discuss the needs and preferences of the individual in depth, and we can start putting a bespoke care package together. Feedback is incredibly important to us, especially during the early days, and we are always willing to make adjustments to get the package just right. We know that no two days are the same when caring for somebody with Parkinson’s disease, and we adopt a flexible approach to ensure the needs of your loved one are met day in, day out.
If you’ve been thinking about looking for a home care service to provide care for Parkinson’s disease, why not contact us today? We can give you more information about the services we offer, we can talk about your requirements in more detail, and we can answer any questions you have.