Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the nerve cells in the brain responsible for producing dopamine. Symptoms of Parkinson’s usually develop slowly over several years, and these symptoms include tremors, muscle rigidity, and changes in speech, balance and gait. Additional symptoms include problems chewing or swallowing, skin issues, sleeping problems and depression.
While treatments can help relieve these symptoms, currently there is no cure for Parkinson’s. The condition affects each individual differently; however, there are typical patterns of progression, defined as stages. During stage one, for example, symptoms are mild and generally do not interfere with daily life. However, in the more advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease, stage four and five, symptoms become more severe and limiting. In these stages, the individual may need a higher level of care to ensure he or she enjoys a high quality of life for as long as possible.
While providing care to a loved one with Parkinson’s disease can be a rewarding experience for all parties involved, as the stages advance, an assisted living community can offer the specialized care and attention your loved one needs to thrive. However, there are some things to keep in mind when searching for an assisted living community for an individual with Parkinson’s disease.
Assisted living communities provide 24-hour care, seven days a week to all residents. These residents receive help with daily activities like bathing, dressing, and medication management, and they also enjoy a variety of services and amenities like three nutritious meals, housekeeping, social activities and more.
While those services are of course important for your loved one living with Parkinson’s disease, it’s also important to look for an assisted living community that specializes in Parkinson’s care. This means the staff should be required to undergo specific training and education regarding Parkinson’s disease, being able to closely monitor symptoms, such as watching for swallowing difficulties during meal times. The staff should also be able to recognize when symptoms in residents’ physical conditions may be changing, making sure they are able to effectively communicate their needs.
Additionally, the community should focus on utilizing exercise and movement therapy as a means to maximize the health and independence of those with Parkinson’s disease. This means the community should offer specialized equipment and programming designed to address and improve Parkinson’s symptoms throughout the stages of the disease.
Saint Simeon’s offers Parkinson’s care in our assisted living community in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As the only assisted living community in Oklahoma offering this specialized care, we are endorsed by the American Parkinson’s Disease Association – Oklahoma Chapter and the Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma. Our staff receives comprehensive education and training on treatment methods for Parkinson’s, including symptom management and medication regimens.
Additionally, our program has a strong emphasis on neurobic exercises, led by our Wellness Consultant, Dr. Mary Nole, in one-on-one sessions three times a week. We’ve added state-of-the-art therapy equipment designed specifically for Parkinson’s treatment, such as the SCIFIT recumbent bike and Glide Track Unweighting System.
For more information about Parkinson’s care at Saint Simeon’s, please contact us today.
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