Parkinson’s Disease: Mobility and How Broad Street Provides Support

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder which impacts an estimated one million Americans. Parkinson’s Disease is classified as a movement disorder and according to the Parkinson’s Foundation, approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year.

Although there are numerous symptoms which can have an effect on someone diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, we’d like to focus on how and individual’s mobility is impacted, and how Broad Street’s Parkinson’s care at home services can help support a wide range of needs.

First let’s look at different ways an individual’s Mobility is impacted by Parkinson’s Disease. We’ll zero in on 3 specific areas where Mobility is most frequently challenged and then explore the ways we can provide support:

  • Gait (shuffling, freezing while walking)
  • Balance/Postural Instability (fall risk)
  • Rigidity (stiff joints)

Each of these symptoms can manifest itself in differently and with varying degrees of severity. So, the first step in understanding how these symptoms are impacting an individual, a formal assessment is done by members of Broad Street’s clinical team. In general, this assessment includes both a Registered Nurse and a Physical Therapist.

Assessing and Developing a Plan of Service

The assessment is also an integral part in the development of the Plan of Service. The Plan of Service specifies an overview of the client, the health conditions and medications that are being taken, the Care Professionals duties, daily activities to be performed and finally the agreed upon goals.

When we look at the Care Professional’s duties in relation to a client with Parkinson’s Disease, the responsibilities can be broken down into three steps:

  • The frequency in which the support is to be provided
  • The nature of the support to be given
  • The duration of the support

Assisting with Gait and Walking Issues

When a client has issues with Gait (shuffling, freezing while walking) we address the following:

  • The frequency of the support
    • each time that the client is walking
  • The nature of the support to be given
    •  to utilize stand by assist and cueing
  • The duration of the support
    •  until the client has re-seated

Assisting with Balance and Risk of Fall Issues

In terms of addressing Balance/Postural Instability (fall risk), the Plan of Service may include an assessment of the physical environment where the individual lives. What is the condition of the carpeting? Are there grab bars accessible in the bathroom? Are there stairs? Is there enough lighting? Are the entrances and doorways wide enough? Each of these components is addressed and discussed with the client and changes are made as needed.

The Care Professional is made aware of the physical environment and is instructed to pay greater attention to specific areas of the home and use extra precautions where the risk of falling is greater.

Assisting with Rigidity (Stiff Joint) Issues

When Rigidity (stiff joints) are noted, the Plan of Service may include types of stretching or exercise routines designed to increase flexibility and prevent the worsening of the symptoms. Oftentimes, clients are engaged with physical therapists, occupational therapists and exercise physiologists.

The activities being performed in these therapeutic sessions are incorporated into the Plan of Service and the Care Professional is instructed on how to assist the client with these activities at home.

Mobility and Parkinson’s – Our Individualized Approach

As stated before, each client’s condition is unique to that individual and the approach to supporting their specific needs is highly individualized. The descriptions above are not to be considered universal methods of support for all individuals with mobility issues related to Parkinson’s Disease.

The depth of experience and training of the Care Professional along with constant clinical supervision enables Broad Street to deliver the highest quality of personalized home care available to individuals impacted by Parkinson’s Disease.

If you have any questions about Parkinson’s and mobility, Broad Street can help.

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