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Parkinson’s Disease Stages and Symptoms

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According to the National Parkinson Foundation, approximately one percent of seniors over the age of 60 have Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder that affects mental health and mobility. There are five different stages of Parkinson’s disease. Understanding which stage your senior loved one is in and what to expect during each stage can help you better care for him or her.

Stage One

During stage one of Parkinson’s disease, symptoms typically occur on only one side of the body (unilateral involvement). Symptoms may include slight tremors, clumsiness, or rigidity. Your loved one’s symptoms may be so mild that they’re easily overlooked and may be misdiagnosed by a doctor. Functional impairment is rare in stage one, and your loved one should be able to continue with normal daily activities.

Stage Two

In stage two, many of the symptoms are the same as those during the first stage. However, these symptoms will appear on both sides of the body, which is known as bilateral involvement. It may take anywhere from months to years to reach stage two. In this stage, you may also notice your loved one blinks less, has a loss of facial expression, speaks in a soft voice with a monotone, and sometimes slurs words. Your loved one will still be able to manage normal daily activities but may move more slowly and complain of sore or stiff muscles after a full day.

Stage Three

Also known as “mid-stage,” stage three of Parkinson’s disease may begin to affect daily activities. In this stage, your loved one will begin to lose balance, which may result in falling. Reflexes will also be impaired during this stage, which could make daily activities such as eating and dressing slightly more difficult. 

At this stage, your loved one may benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated Plantation senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Stage Four

Stage four occurs when your loved one is no longer able to perform daily activities independently. The symptoms of tremors, rigidity, and loss of balance are severe. Though your loved one may be able to continue to stand up unassisted, walking will be unmanageable without the use of a walker. During this stage of Parkinson’s disease, your loved one may no longer be able to live independently.

Seniors in this stage can live at home, but they may need the assistance of a family or professional caregiver. For many seniors in Plantation, FL, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

Stage Five

The final stage of Parkinson’s disease, stage five, is the most severe and debilitating. Your loved one’s legs may be so stiff and rigid that standing and walking is no longer possible. He or she may need to use a wheelchair to move around or may be confined to a bed. Your loved one’s mental health will be affected during this stage, and hallucinations or delusions are possible.

Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging in its final stages, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Plantation Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (954) 533-2410 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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