An illness that affects the nervous system progressively is known as Parkinson’s disease resulting in drastic changes to the body’s movements. The symptoms may initially, commence slowly, beginning with a slight unnoticed tremor in one hand. Although tremors are natural, the illness also causes stiffening of limbs or slowing down of movement.
Although this disease escalates and get worse with time, it doesn’t affect all in the same way and the symptoms may not be experienced by everyone who has this disease and some people experience the escalation of the disease at different levels. However, only medical professionals have found out 5 stages that indicate how the disease advances.
The first stage is the earliest part where the symptoms are mild and seen only one side of the body. This is usually minimal and it could be so light that the patient might not consult a doctor, or a physician could sometimes be unable to diagnose the case. Symptoms could be an infrequent tremor in one hand, stiffness of a leg or hand or change on one side of the face affecting expressions. The initial stage is not easy to diagnose and a doctor usually waits to see the worsening of symptoms before making a final diagnosis.
Usually, the second stage develops months or years after stage 1. It is still considered as an early part of this disease and it is recognized by symptoms on both sides of the body or without deterioration to balance. Symptoms include loss of facial expression on both sides of the face, less blinking, slurred speech, voice fading after starting to speak loudly, stiffening of body muscles resulting in neck or back pain, stooped posture and slowing down in performing daily chores. Although it is easy to diagnose at this stage if the patient has a tremor, even though the only symptoms of stage 2 are slow movements and lack of instinctive muscle flexibility, the disease could be confused with old age. A walker and wheelchair are two equipment that could be used to assist the patient at this stage
This stage is characterized by the loss of balancing oneself and slow movement. The inability to make a fast automatic movement to prevent falling is common at this stage. All other symptoms of this disease are the same and quick diagnosis is easy at this stage. A defining aspect of this stage is that the patient is quite independent in the form of hygiene, eating and dressing. However, a wheelchair, walking stick or walker and daily living aids along with therapy, exercise and physio aids are some of the products that come in helpful at this stage.
At this stage, the patient has moved into being disabled. They may be able to walk and stand independently but might seem maimed. Lift chairs, wheelchairs and daily living aids including bariatric equipment come in helpful to live life independently.
This is the most progressive stage and determined when the patient cannot rise from a chair or get out of bed without assistance. Inclined to fall when standing or turning and would stop or stagger when walking. 24hr assistance is required at this stage to prevent falls and carry out other daily activities. The patient may also hallucinate at this stage. Patient transfer aids, bathroom aids, pressure care, hospital beds and bariatric equipment are some useful products that are helpful at this stage.
Independent Living Specialists has many well-known branded wheelchairs, daily living aids, bariatric equipment, bathroom aids, patient transfer aids, hospital beds and fall prevention alarms etc, in all their stores Australia wide to assist patients ailing with Parkinson’s disease at any stage of the illness.
** This post was originally published on https://ilsau.com.au/the-five-stages-of-parkinsons-disease/