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Atlanta Caregiver & Home Care Articles

Can You Recognize The Signs Of Parkinson's Disease?

Posted by Debby Franklin on Aug 14, 2014 3:09:00 PM

Parkinson's Disease, Parkinson's, Parkinsons, Home CareEarly diagnosis of Parkinson's disease gives you the best chance of a longer, healthier life. Parkinson's disease is when your brain stops making an important chemical called dopamine.  This chemical helps control movement, and helps your mood.  Parkinson's disease is a progressive disease that will get worse slowly over time.  The cause is unknown, and currently there is no cure, but there are treatment options to manage its symptoms.

It is sometimes difficult to determine if you might have Parkinson's disease.  Here are some warning signs that indicate you should make an appointment to talk to your doctor:

  • Twitching or shaking of a finger, hand, or foot.
  • Tremor of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face.
  • Handwriting that looks cramped.  Letters tend to be smaller than normal and words spaced close.
  • Difficulty sleeping.  Early signs include uncontrollable movements on a regular basis.
  • Stiff and slow.  Jerking motions and movement in a more uncoordinated pattern than before.
  • Slowed movements with difficulty continuing to move.
  • Problems with balance and walking.
  • Constipation.  Straining to move your bowels can be an early sign.
  • Speaking in low tones, hoarse voice or with little inflection.
  • Masking-no expression in your face, making movement and control of small muscles in the face difficult.
  • Dizziness, fainting or low blood pressure when you stand up.
  • Stooped posture, leaning and slouching due to loss of coordination and balance.  Posture will change in small ways at first and will gradually worsen.  
  • Difficulty eating and swallowing.
Tell your doctor right away if you have these symptoms.  Certain lifestyle changes may help you to cope with Parkinson's disease:
  • Healthy eating is important.
  • You may need to modify what you eat and drink if you have difficulty eating and swallowing.
  • speech therapy not only helps with speech but can help with swallowing. 
  • Exercise and keep active. 
  • Work on keeping stress at a minimum.
  • Low energy may require that you rest throughout the day.
  • Physical and occupational therapy will help to keep you independent.
  • Place safety rails throughout the home to prevent falls.
  • Assistive devices will help make movement easier.  Some of these devices are; canes, walkers, wheelchairs, lifts, shower seats, raised toilet seats, and custom eating utensils.
Consider:
  • Parkinson's Support groups
  • Counseling services
  • Resources from the American Parkinson Disease Association 
  • Resources from the National Parkinson Foundation

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services. Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

In Home Care For Seniors

Topics: Home Care, Parkinsons, Parkinson's, Parkinson's Disease

Help for those who suffer with Chronic Medical Conditions

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jul 10, 2013 1:14:00 PM

chronic medical condition, stroke, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, head injury, hyperbaric therapyHyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment which enhances the body's natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen.  This promotes natural healing for persons who suffer with chronic medical conditions.  In the hyperbaric chamber the atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled and is used for a wide variety of treatments.

With normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With the hyperbaric oxygen therapy oxygen is dissolved into all of the body's fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked.  With the hyperbaric therapy extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process which is great news for anyone suffering with a chronic medical condition.  The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas.  This is a simple, non-invasive and painless treatment.  

CONDITIONS WHICH MAY BENEFIT FROM HYPERBARIC THERAPY INCLUDE:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Arthritis
  • Autism
  • Asthma
  • Allergies                                                   chronic disease, stroke, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Lupus, Brain & Head injury
  • Brain & Head Injury
  • Bell's Palsy
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Alzheimer's
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Joint Pain
  • Loss of Limb
  • Lupus
  • Lyme Disease
  • Immune Deficiency
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Sports Injury
  • Stroke
  • Wound Healing
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Body Detoxification
  • Sleeping & Skin disorders
What are the side effects?
The most common side effect is barotrauma to the ears and sinuses caused by the change in pressure.  To minimize this risk, patients learn techniques to promote adequate clearing of the ears during compression. occasionally some patients may experience changes in their vision during their treatment.  These changes are usually minor and temporary.  A rare side effect is oxygen toxicity which is caused by administering too much oxygen.
What information should you discuss with the technician prior to treatment?
  • If you have any cold or flu symptoms, fever, sinus or nasal congestion
  • If there is a possibility that you may be pregnant
  • If there has been a change in any of your medications
  • If you have skipped a meal prior to your treatment
  • If you are diabetic and did not take your insulin prior to your treatment
  • If you have any concerns or anxiety 
How does hyperbaric therapy help brain injury or stroke?
When cells in the brain die, either from trauma or lack of oxygen, blood plasma leaks out into surrounding brain tissue causing swelling and reducing blood flow.  These otherwise normal cells go dormant because they can't function without the appropriate amount of oxygen.  Hyperbaric therapy dramatically increases the oxygen carried in the blood plasma, making oxygen available to heal damaged capillary walls, preventing plasma leakage and reducing swelling.  As the swelling decreases, blood flow can be restored to the dormant tissue and these cells then have the pltential to function again.  
Insurance and Medicare consider coverage for several conditions so check to see if this is an available option prior to treatment. 
The above information is from www.hbot.com additional information is available at this site.

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services. Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

In Home Care For Seniors

Topics: Parkinson's, stroke, brain injury, chronic disease, Alzheimer's, Chronic Medical Condition, Chronic, hyperbaric therapy, Lupus

Parkinson's Disease-Improving the Quality of Life

Posted by Debby Franklin on Sep 19, 2012 11:41:00 AM

Parkinson's, Parkinsons, senior careParkinson's is a slow, degenerative disease that results in stiff muscles, difficulty walking, and other movement-related issues over time.  The first noticeable symptom of Parkinson's is usually a slight tremor.  As the disease progresses you can experience difficulty walking which can advance into a typical "Parkinson's Gait" - shuffling, head facing downward, and little or no swinging of the arms.  Freezing in mid-stride is also a common characteristic.  Other symptoms related to Parkinson's include difficulty swallowing, loss of bowel control or constipation, cramped writing, dry skin and scalp, and excess salivation.

Some adjustments will need to be made, especially as the disease progresses.  Here are some things you may want to consider doing:

PHYSICAL THERAPY-can help with adjusting to some of the movement difficulties that will become more apparent over time.  Physical therapy can help provide coping mechanisms for the days when your body simply will not move as you want it to move.

EXERCISE- and finding the right program is important.  There are many activities which require only minor adjustments to keep your lifestyle active.  Be cautious of activities that could be dangerous if an episode of freezing occurs.  These activities should be planned and engaged in with a support person available.

SPEECH THERAPY-helps a person with Parkinson's maintain and even regain communication skills lost to muscle weakness.  Parkinson's weakens muscles in the mouth, lips, tongue, and diaphragm.  Even facial expressions and nonverbal communication may become limited by progressive facial-muscle stiffening.  Speech pathologist or therapist can teach specific strategies that make communication easier.

DIET- is important to maintaining a healthy weight which can help your body adjust quicker to movement-related issues and can help muscles adjust to the extra demands of the disease.  If swallowing problems occur, changing the types of food in the diet may become necessary.  Too much saliva can hinder swallowing, so limiting foods that aggravate salivation may be helpful.

REDUCING STRESS-is a key consideration with Parkinson's since stress has been known to aggravate Parkinson's symptoms.  Schedule rest time to make sure that your body isn't overtaxed.  Plan fun vacation getaways with family and friends.  People with Parkinson's can still travel you will just need to make a few extra planning steps in order to have an enjoyable trip.

Family and In-Home caregivers can do a lot to help keep the disease as manageable as possible.  Assisting with medication management, doctor's appointments, keeping a consistent diet and exercise plan, and even managing fun activities can inject hopefulness and improve the quality of life for those who are dealing with the challenges of Parkinson's.

Atlanta Caregivers

 

 

Topics: Parkinsons, Parkinson's, Parkinson's Disease, caring for a loved one