Parkinson’s Disease and Palliative Care
Parkinson’s disease is a condition that affects elderly people, starting at 50-60 years old, and with a higher incidence in people with more than 80 years old. It can also occur in younger people, although it is not as common. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder that is age-related (Alzheimer’s disease is in the first place). It is estimated that 7 to 10 million people suffer from this disease worldwide, and in the UK it is estimated that a total of 127,000 people are living with this disease. So, as you can see, this disease has a great relevance not only in the UK but worldwide.
In this article, you will understand a bit more about the disease itself, and how it can be managed with the help of a qualified team.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that, as the name says, affects the neurons (which are the brain cells). The main symptoms observed are related to the movements: at first, the hands start shaking and the hand movements start getting slower. This condition can get worse with age, and other symptoms can also appear, such as speech impairment, respiratory problems, pain, dizziness, depression and others.
But why do these symptoms occur?
The main cause of these symptoms is the loss of brain cells. In the Parkinson’s disease this occurs in a specific region of the brain: the region that is responsible for the production of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical substance (a neurotransmitter) that has several functions, and one of them is the control of movements.
Although there is a lot of research on this disease, the causes of this loss of brain cells are still unknown.
So far there is no cure available, just palliative strategies.
For more information on Parkinsons disease, please visit Parkinsons UK
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a medical strategy that focuses on providing relief to the patients that have a serious disease and their family. Palliative care won’t cure the patient, but it helps with the symptoms, stress and anxiety that the disease brings. The goal is to improve, as much as possible, the quality of life of that patient.
This type of care is provided by a whole team of health professionals such as doctors, nurses and Carers. Sometimes Social Workers can be involved. They work with your other doctors, helping to find the right treatment for each patient, as well as providing support.
This strategy can be done at any stage of any disease, but it is even more important for chronic diseases that don’t have a cure, such as Parkinson’s Disease.
For support for Clients and Carers, please visit Palliative Suport
Palliative Care in Parkinson’s Disease and how can it help?
Parkinson’s disease is not only a degenerative disease, but it is also progressive. With the continuous loss of brain cells comes the continuous loss of body functions.
For example, in late stages of the disease, the patient can start having trouble eating. Here a palliative care team can help. Doctors and Nutritionists can help finding the right diet as well as deciding if a feeding tube is necessary. Having a live-in Carer is a solution to assist the patient in getting the right nutrition and liquids at the right time.
The palliative care team can also help the family. Having a family member with such a serious illness that requires constant care can really affect one’s health, especially mental health. The team can help ease this burden and provide counselling.
The patients can reach a stage where the cognitive function is declined in a way that they need 24/7 care. Palliative care can be provided by one of our well experienced Carers, at home without the need to keep moving the patient, which is more comfortable for both the patient and the family
Parkinson’s disease is not an easy condition, but dealing with it can be easier if you have the right help.
A Palliative care team will provide the comfort that the patient needs in this journey, helping not only physically but giving all the mental support that will help with how the disease is perceived and managed.
Palliative care is very important for the quality of life of both patient and family, so don’t ignore its benefits and find the right team for you.
Are you in need of a Parkinson’s Carer? Do you need help with Palliative Care? Or Cancer Care?
Call the Live In Care Agency now so that we can help you to find the right Carer to help with your loved-ones needs. liveincareagency.com/home