Caring for a person with Parkinson’s

We pride ourselves on getting you or your loved one the care they deserve

Given that almost 110,000 people aged 70+ are believed to be living with Parkinson’s in the UK, being aware of this progressive, currently incurable neurological condition is important to ensure prompt diagnosis and the best post-diagnostic support, something we pride ourselves on at Oakland Care.

Signs and symptoms

For many people, the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s begin with problems that are related to their movement. These are most commonly involuntary shaking (otherwise known as tremors), slower or less coordinated movements, problems with balance, and muscles that are becoming stiff and inflexible.

However, it’s possible to have non-movement related symptoms too, which can include fatigue or memory problems. Parkinson’s UK offer a comprehensive breakdown of symptoms, and of course if you or someone you care for are experiencing symptoms that you believe could be Parkinson’s, it’s important to speak to your doctor.

For most people, their life expectancy won’t change much because of their Parkinson’s, although more advanced symptoms may lead to a greater risk of infections.

Living with Parkinson’s

While a diagnosis of Parkinson’s is life-changing, it’s important to remember that living with Parkinson’s is very individual to each person. There is no set pathway, and a person may find that with treatment (there are both drug and non-drug treatments available, as detailed by the NHS) their symptoms stabilise and they can continue to enjoy an active and fulfilling life.

Lots of equipment, living aids and technological solutions have been created to make living with Parkinson’s easier, from throat microphones that can help a person with speech problems to be heard more clearly by picking up sounds from their larynx, through to cups that are designed to minimise spillage when a person’s hands are shaking.

An occupational therapist or specialist Parkinson’s nurse can advise on which products are most suitable for an individual based on their symptoms and the aspects of daily life that they are finding most challenging.

It’s important to emphasise that symptoms such as tremors don’t need to end a person’s ability to pursue hobbies such as sewing, playing musical instruments, drawing, painting or writing. This film from Parkinson’s UK gives lots of inspiration to help people with Parkinson’s to be more creative. The Parkinson’s UK Creative Writing Toolkit was borne out of a workshop for people with Parkinson’s and has lots of advice and downloadable worksheets to help a person with Parkinson’s to take control through their writing.

Oakland Care and Parkinson’s

At Oakland Care, we look after many residents living with Parkinson’s. Our highly trained staff, bespoke care packages and state-of-the-art facilities can help a person to live as well as possible with their Parkinson’s. From the way in which a resident’s room is personalised and arranged, to enable them to reach everything that they need with ease, through to our thoughtfully landscaped gardens that help to support our residents to experience the natural world and maximise their mobility in a safe, hazard-free environment.

We know that many people with Parkinson’s find that exercises, tailored to their needs, can help with their symptoms. Exercise can also boost well-being, which is important considering that many people with Parkinson’s can experience mental health problems, including depression, and cognitive problems that can progress into dementia.

All of our care homes have lifestyle teams who work with our residents individually to learn what they enjoy doing, and the teams are skilled at finding creative ways for a person experiencing Parkinson’s symptoms to still be able to do the things that they enjoy. When it comes to mealtimes, our chefs and catering teams are dedicated to providing food that is both nutritious and delicious, with support provided to assist any resident who may find eating more challenging due to Parkinson’s symptoms, including difficulties with using cutlery or swallowing problems (dysphagia).

We firmly believe that living with Parkinson’s should never mean losing your independence, choice and control, and we are committed to doing everything possible to ensure that you or your loved one can live as well as possible with their Parkinson’s.

To find out more about how living in an Oakland Care home can help to support you or your loved one with Parkinson’s, please call 0203 0193939 or email: info@oaklandcare.com