Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive illness that develops gradually and starts with barely noticeable tremor in one hand. It is one of the most common central nervous system disorders that affect muscles and movement. It affects the brain activity and damages the nerve system of our body that is utilized by brain to send signals about movement to body muscles.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

  • Hand tremors
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Slowing and jerking
  • Motion-related issues
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue (feeling weak or tired)
  • Constipation and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cognitive decline

Palliative Care for Parkinson’s disease

Palliative care is specially designed medical care that focuses to give relief to the patient from symptoms and stress of serious illness like Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s is a nervous system disorder that gets worse as the condition progresses over time. The disorder cannot be cured but managed by medications and palliative care to improve symptoms. Some people become more disabled and dependent over time despite the best treatments.

Palliative care is provided by a team of specialists, including palliative care doctors, nurses and social workers who work in association with patient’s doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Although it can be given at any age and at any stage of illness but ideally, it should be started as soon as the patient is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and be continued throughout the entire course of illness and treatment.

Goals of Palliative Care for Parkinson’s disease

  • Improve the quality of life of patient and his family
  • Provide relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of disease and treatment
  • Match patient’s treatment choices with his personal needs and goals
  • Give physical, occupational and speech therapy to help the patient in managing the practical issues of daily living
  • Provide guidance to make difficult decisions about nutrition and feeding tubes
  • Give personal care to the patient
  • Help patient in clarification of goals and setting up treatment plans far in advance
  • Managing sufferings and distressing aspects of advanced Parkinson’s
  • Listen, advice and support all the people involved in patient care
  • Advantages of Palliative Care for Parkinson’s disease
  • Increased control over life
  • Addresses physical problems, including pain, breathlessness, lose of appetite, immobility and constipation
  • Support the personal, social, psychological and spiritual needs of patient and his family
  • Better cope with the challenges of living with Parkinson’s disease
  • Psychological relief to the patient just by listening to his pain
  • Provide 24-hour care to the person who cannot perform routine tasks of living
  • Support patient so that he can continue to live life to the fullest
  • Enhances communication between patient, family and doctors for clarification of treatment and care goals