Progression of Parkinson's
It is difficult to estimate how quickly or slowly Parkinson’s will progress in each person. Each person with Parkinson’s is unique and each person may experience different symptoms. However, since Parkinson’s is a progressive condition, symptoms will worsen over time and new ones may appear. It may progress more quickly in people who are older when the symptoms first begin and less quickly when the main symptom is tremor, especially when it starts on one side.
While medications can alleviate the symptoms, they do not slow the progression of Parkinson’s. As the symptoms change, medications will need to be adjusted. As the disease progresses, non-motor symptoms may also appear, such as depression, difficulty swallowing, sexual problems or cognitive changes. If you any questions, feel free to visit our local office page, to find help near you today.
Signs that indicate Parkinson’s has progressed
It is important to be aware of changes and tell your doctor when you notice them. Ask your care partner or family if they have noticed changes, such as difficulty hearing you talk. Involve health care professionals, such as speech pathologists or home care workers to help you manage the daily challenges of Parkinson’s.
Other health conditions
Plan for the future
Work options. Discuss options with your employer, such as adaptive technology or reduced work load. If it becomes necessary, find out if retiring early is an option. Many people who reduce their workloads find they are able to focus on managing their Parkinson’s (i.e., more time to keep physically fit).
Finances. Will your benefit/medical plan cover drugs and other expenses, such as speech therapy? Do you have a retirement and/or pension plan? Do you qualify for disability insurance or the disability tax credit? Contact disability professionals before reducing your work hours, to determine if this will affect the amount of eligible funding.
Legal and health planning issues. Discuss power of attorney and advance care planning with your family now. Discuss what quality of life means for you. By talking about these issues now, you can impact your care in the future. (*Information on advance care planning varies from province to province. Contact your local Parkinson Society for appropriate resources.)
Care issues. Seek the care of a neurologist or movement disorder specialist. Together you can develop a care plan that will meet your needs. Monitor your symptoms and communicate any changes so adjustments to medications can be made.
Remember, reducing stress in your life will make a difference. Join a Parkinson support group. Some people find yoga and tai chi helpful. Humour can also be a great stress reducer. Staying as active as possible and maintaining a positive attitude is important. Many people find that a creative activity such as painting, singing, playing an instrument, dancing or writing poetry helps. Even if Parkinson’s affects your balance, you can still have a balanced life.