An estimated 1% of the population over 60 is living with Parkinson’s Disease. Our Northbrook Chicago area office specializes in caring for those navigating the difficulty of this disease. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a disorder of the central nervous system causing stiffness and tremors. The disease is a progressive condition with no current cure, although occupational therapy and medications have shown to help manage symptoms. Knowing the 5 stages of Parkinson’s can help you or your loved one prepare for the next steps and how to handle the coming difficulties. To further understand this progressive disease, we will take a close look at the 5 stages, as explained by Parkinson’s Foundation:
- Stage One- Mild symptoms begin to emerge without complicating daily activities. Tremors and other uncontrolled movement patterns begin to present on only one side of the body. A person may also begin to notice a change in posture, facial expressions and walking.
- Stage Two- Symptoms continue to worsen with tremors, involuntary movement patterns and stiffness increasing to both sides of the body. While still able to be independent, most daily activities have become more difficult and take longer.
- Stage Three- Also referred to as “mid-stage”. A person afflicted will have difficulty with equilibrium and experience a “slow motion” sensation. Falling does become a valid concern at this point. Even though a person can remain independent, the use of an in-home care agency like Homewatch CareGivers could become of use.
- Stage Four- At this point the severity of the symptoms has increased and severely limited daily activity. An individual may be able to stand unassisted, but overall movement may require a walker and will be unable to live alone. A caregiver is necessary for all activities of daily living (ADLs).
- Stage Five- In this stage the individual may experience extreme stiffness making walking or standing next to impossible. 24/7 care is needed for all ADLs and they may have hallucinations and/or delusions and dementia.
The 5 stages of Parkinson’s Disease vary from person to person. Depending on the severity of the disease, quality of life can be different for each individual. Following up regularly with a neurologist will ensure the diagnosis is on target so that all symptoms can be addressed.