Parkinson's Disease

Over 145,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson's Disease, a progressive neurological condition that affects movement and can lead to significant challenges in daily life. One of the major concerns for those with Parkinson's is the increased risk of falls, which can result in serious injuries and further complications.

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's Disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that primarily affects movement. It occurs when nerve cells in the brain don't produce enough dopamine, a chemical that helps control muscle movement. Over time, this leads to tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.

Parkinson's can be tricky because its symptoms develop gradually and may be mistaken for normal ageing or other conditions. Early signs include slight tremors, changes in handwriting, and a softer voice. As the disease progresses, these symptoms become more pronounced and can significantly impact daily activities.

What increases the risk of falls with Parkinson's?

Several factors contribute to the heightened risk of falling for those with Parkinson's:

  • Balance and Gait Problems: Parkinson's affects the way you walk and maintain balance, making you more prone to stumbling.
  • Muscle Stiffness and Rigidity: These symptoms can make it difficult to move quickly or smoothly, increasing the chance of falling.
  • Postural Instability: Parkinson's can cause a tendency to lean forward or backward, leading to unsteadiness.
  • Medication Side Effects: Some Parkinson's medications can cause dizziness or light-headedness, contributing to falls.
  • Freezing Episodes: Sudden, brief episodes where movement is impossible can occur, often resulting in a fall.

How do you manage Parkinson's and reduce fall risk?

Managing Parkinson's involves a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and therapies designed to improve symptoms and reduce the risk of falls.

  • Medications: These can help manage symptoms like tremors and stiffness but must be carefully balanced to avoid side effects that could increase fall risk.
  • Physical Therapy: A tailored exercise program can improve strength, flexibility, and balance.
  • Occupational Therapy: Helps you adapt your home and daily routines to enhance safety and independence.
  • Regular Exercise: Activities like walking, swimming, and yoga can help maintain muscle strength and coordination.
  • Home Modifications: Simple changes like removing tripping hazards, using grab rails, and ensuring good lighting can make your home safer.

Take care every day

  • Stay Active: Engage in regular, gentle exercises to improve your strength and balance.
  • Healthy Diet: Maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients to support overall health and energy levels.
  • Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration can help prevent dizziness and light-headedness.
  • Medication Management: Take your medications as prescribed and discuss any side effects with your doctor.
  • Regular Check-ups: Keep up with medical appointments to monitor your condition and adjust treatments as necessary.

How Carecall can help

Technology is available to help with the management of long-term health conditions like Parkinson's Disease. Falls are a significant concern for people with Parkinson's, and reducing the risk of falls is crucial for maintaining independence and quality of life.

If you or someone you care for is prone to falling or dizzy spells and is living with Parkinson's Disease, call us today on 0161 218 1655 to discuss how our Carecall Service can help them remain independent in their own home.