Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease that affects mobility, speech, and motor skills. Early detection and proper management are key to maintaining safety and overall optimal functioning.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
- Slow movement
- Small movement
- Tremors or shaking
- Loss of sense of smell
- Sleep difficulties
- Impaired balance
- “Freezing” of a person’s manner of walking
- Mood disorders
- Swallowing difficulties and decreased voice quality or volume
People often report having loss of balance backward, tripping, and increased difficulty picking up their feet while walking. They may struggle to write their name legibly, button a shirt, or use utensils. Their speech may become mumbled and trail off at the end of a sentence. Tasks that were easy before are increasingly difficult.
Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy can help delay Parkinson’s progression. Exercise is crucial because it helps maintain mobility, assist with balance, and allows one to participate in daily routines.
Physical Therapy – can address balance, strength, and range of motion. They can generate and train you in exercises to help loosen up rigid and stiff muscles which can improve your ability to help you stand from sitting and improve walking.
Occupational Therapy – assist those to optimize independence with their daily tasks (dressing, grooming, bathing, etc.) as the disease progresses. They can do this by assessing their current skills, training them on improved ways to complete tasks, or introducing them to adaptive equipment to aid in performance. OT can also assess home safety to reduce the likelihood of falls through making safety recommendations (ex. remove scatter rugs to avoid tripping, add grab bars, etc.). OT can also generate and train you on an individualized exercise program to work on reducing stiffness and motion in the upper body.
Speech Therapy – assists in the maintenance of communication skills as it relates to the vocal intensity and speech clarity. They can evaluate swallowing functions and make necessary recommendations regarding diet and swallowing strategies as well as provide and train on an individualized swallowing exercise program.
Although Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can help people with Parkinson’s disease remain active in their activities such as personal care, work, and leisure activities. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of rehabilitation and its ability to improve your independence and overall quality of life by improving movement and function, please reach out to us!
Greenfield Rehabilitation 262-473-2140 Fairhaven Senior Services, 435 Starin Road, Whitewater, WI 53190.