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.
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.
Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Chandler, AZ, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
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.
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.
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of homecare. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
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.
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.
During the later stages of Parkinson’s, your loved one may need around-the-clock supervision. Seniors living with serious health conditions often need extensive assistance in and outside the home. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of live-in care. Chandler caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with bathing, grooming, light housekeeping, and various other daily tasks, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To find out how we can help your loved one maintain a high quality of life while aging in place, give us a call at (480) 448-6215.