Updated: Apr 7
Every 9 minutes, a person's life is forever changed. Every 9 minutes a person is diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in the U.S. This is according to the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA). Early signs of Parkinson's Disease include the shaking of a hand at rest, facial rigidity and changes in the voice. There is no known cure for PD, but treatments are improving every day.
There are so many resources and organizations that are committed to making sure anyone diagnosed with Parkinson's can live their best lives. As a result, many people with Parkinson's are looking for ways to improve physical and mental health.
We know that Parkinson's not only affects motor symptoms; it can also impact sleep, mood and thinking. The Parkinson's Foundation is a wonderful resource to get the booklets and video training you need as the person impacted by Parkinson's, but also your primary caregiver is equipped with how to provide quality care.
When it comes to changes in sleep, mood and thinking, the Parkinson's Foundation suggests the following lifestyle changes and coping strategies to help improve your overall physical and mental health:
Develop a routine and stay engaged with fun hobbies
Find a counselor who can help you adjust to the changes. You can see a counselor individually or with your care partner
Create an exercise plan to support your emotional and physical health
Focus on nutrition. A healthy diet can promote overall wellbeing
Work towards establishing a consistent sleep pattern - set a schedule around sleep and avoid naps
You can learn more about these symptoms and how to better manage them by going to the Parkinson's Foundation website at www.parkinson.org. By clicking on Living with Parkinson's and then Resources and Support, you will be introduced to a plethora of resources - from hospital kits to webcasts and podcasts, as well as downloading and requesting free print materials to support your journey.
It's also important to plug into local chapters and Parkinson's Associations that can provide you with guidance on local resources. Not only can you participate in a fun event that raises money for Parkinson's research, many have support groups and classes to engage with others on the journey locally with you.
When it comes to having advocates, these resources can be your biggest cheerleaders and support, but it takes a willingness to get involved.
At Engage Care Partners, we can help you navigate the overwhelming amount of resources to help discern which ones are the right ones to focus on based on your current journey. Having someone that has been through the entire process cannot only help you understand what lies ahead, they can also ensure that you are plugged into the things that matter most for helping you to have your best days.