Supporting Loved Ones: Navigating Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Supporting Loved Ones: Navigating Parkinson’s Awareness Month

April 11th marked World Parkinson’s Day,  and April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, which is a time to shine a light on the fastest-growing neurological disease that affects millions worldwide and more than 100,000 Canadians. However, Parkinson’s is still misunderstood and it’s an opportunity to take the time to familiarize yourself with the disease and its effects, and how and when to seek care for you or your loved ones with Parkinson’s.  

Understanding Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease, which means that it is a disease that is a result of nerve cells losing function over time. In the case of Parkinson’s, they are the nerve cells that produce dopamine. Thus, symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and slowed movement begin to manifest. That said, a diagnosis could be a lengthy process, seeing as there are no specific tests to confirm it and it requires the attention of an experienced  neurologist.

Furthermore, the progression rate of the disease varies from case to case. There are five stages, with 1 & 2 presenting early symptoms whereby accomplishing regular daily tasks is still possible, and 4 & 5 presenting late symptoms whereby motor abilities are severely limited and necessitating assistance with daily activities. Finally, while the main risk factor associated with Parkinson’s is age, heredity is another one, which results in the disease manifesting in younger adults.

The direct cause of Parkinson’s is still unknown, and as such a cure or even direct methods for prevention are still a long way away. As such, it is vital to take advantage of this month to advocate for sufferers of the disease by learning more about their stories and raising awareness.

Parkinson’s Care

As mentioned previously, the progression of Parkinson’s varies from person to person. At first, one’s motor symptoms may not be excessive and would permit them to carry on with their daily activities. Eventually, they may need Personal Support at Home with basic household tasks such as grocery shopping, and later on, a dedicated caregiver may need to be present to assist with more taxing tasks such as maintaining personal hygiene. As your loved one’s needs change, you must be prepared to think about how much you are able to directly contribute to their care. At that point, it would be time to consider bringing in an experienced caregiver.

If you need a caregiver in the Mississauga, Oakville, Ajax, and Pickering areas, connect with us at (905) 4916941 or email to learn about our in-home caregiving services, ranging from Personal Support including Home Care Assistance to Nursing help with our Nurse at Home Services, everything from keeping you company and helping with light housekeeping, to administering medications and changing dressings on wounds. Home care assistance is only a phone call away.