Parkinson’s disease is far from a new disease. In fact, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease were described in Ayurvedic medicine, which has been around for 5,000 years. They were also recorded in a 2,500-year-old Chinese medical text. The disease was finally given its name in 1861. Although scientists and doctors have known about Parkinson’s disease for a long time, there is still a lot of misinformation about there about it. When you’re new to being a caregiver to someone with Parkinson’s disease, it can be hard to know the myths from the facts. Below are 5 myths about Parkinson’s disease and the real facts about them.
Myth #1: Parkinson’s Disease Only Has Motor Symptoms
Truth: The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, like tremors and muscle rigidity, may be the most obvious ones and the first symptoms to appear. However, there are plenty of non-motor symptoms associated with the disease as well. Some of them are:
- Cognitive impairment.
- Sleep problems.
- Speech changes.
- Personality changes.
Myth #2: Everyone with Parkinson’s Experiences Tremors
Truth: Parkinson’s disease is a somewhat unpredictable disease because it doesn’t affect everyone in the same way. While tremors are one of the most well-known symptoms of the disease, some people may never experience them.
Myth #3: The Only Thing That Can Help with Parkinson’s is Medication
Truth: Medications are certainly a necessary part of the treatment plan for Parkinson’s disease. However, there are ways the patient can impact their health. Following a healthy lifestyle can help the person to stay healthier overall. Exercise can maintain muscle strength and may allow them to keep some of their independence longer.
Myth #4: Once a Person is Diagnosed, All Symptoms Are Related to Parkinson’s
Truth: People with Parkinson’s can still get other illnesses and conditions. If a new symptom appears, it’s a good idea to report it to the doctor. Some symptoms, like shortness of breath or chest pain, can signal a medical emergency.
Myth #5: People with Parkinson’s Always Wind Up in a Long-Term Care Facility
Truth: Many families do make the decision to place their aging family members in facilities when the disease reaches the advanced stages. In the advanced stages of the disease, your aging relative will require constant care. However, that does not mean they cannot continue to live at home. One way to allow them to stay at home is by hiring home care. Home care agencies do their best to match providers to the needs of the patient, so they may be able to send a provider who is experienced with Parkinson’s disease. Home care providers can assist with all kinds of non-medical care, including dressing, bathing, toileting, and eating.
If you or an aging parent are considering palliative care in Norristown, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.
A veteran of providing quality healthcare, Michael has served with distinction in a variety of leadership capacities for nearly two decades, notably as administrator for several Skilled Nursing Facilities in New Jersey. Known as an innovative and solution-oriented individual, Michael has his finger on the pulse on new trends and concepts in providing quality care.
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