Parkinson’s is a disease that affects the way you move. It’s a progressive neurological condition, which means that parts of the brain become damaged over time.
Individuals with Parkinson’s don’t have enough dopamine, which is a chemical that transmits information from one brain cell to another. We don’t know why people get the disease, but it’s likely to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
There are an estimated 127,000 people in the UK living with Parkinson’s. It can affect people of all ages, but is most common in individuals aged 50 and over.
Currently, there’s no cure for Parkinson’s. However, there are a number of drugs, treatments, and therapies which can help people manage their symptoms. This video, created by Parkinson’s UK, explains the condition in more detail.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s is often associated with shaky hands, but this involuntary shaking (also known as tremor) is just one possible symptom. Slowness of movement and rigidity (also called stiffness) are two other common symptoms.
Slowness of movement may cause someone to walk with short, shuffling steps, while rigidity can cause stiff muscles, muscle pain, and cramps.
Parkinson’s suffers may experience a range of additional physical symptoms, such as low blood pressure, restless legs, and problems eating or swallowing. These are known as ‘motor symptoms.’ They may also notice mental or emotional changes. These are called ‘non-motor symptoms’, and include depression, anxiety, and memory problems.
It’s important to remember that not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, and that Parkinson’s can affect people in different ways. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s or have any concerns, it’s best to speak to your GP.
How could a mobility product help someone with Parkinson’s?
If you or someone close to you is suffering from Parkinson’s, an occupational therapist-approved product could improve your quality of life.
When it comes to taking a bath or a shower, many people with Parkinson’s are concerned about slipping and falling. An Oak Tree bath lift could provide a solution, particularly if you experience problems with your balance. Our bath lifts use reliable, state-of-the-art technology and a comfortable belt to lower you securely into your bath.
An adjustable bed or a rise and recline chair may help if you suffer from muscle stiffness. Our adjustable beds come with a choice of mattress, so you can choose the one which provides the right level of support for you.
If you struggle with muscle stiffness or find that your muscles sometimes seize, a rise and recline chair may be the answer. The rise function, which is included on all of our chairs, gently helps you into and out of your chair, while supporting your body. You can also adjust the firmness of our chair cushions, to provide you with additional support if you need it as the disease progresses.
For more information about our products, or to order your free brochure, call us on 0800 999 2781.