Nursing Care for Parkinson’s Disease in New Malden

Speirs House is an excellent Nursing Home that provides support and care for people living with Parkinson’s Disease in New Malden and surrounding areas.  Our highly trained and skilled Nurses work closely with our excellent professional Care Team.  They provide specialist nursing care that will help people living with Parkinson’s Disease enjoy a better quality of life.

 

 

 

 

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s is along-tern, progressive, neurological condition that affects parts of the brain as well as other parts of the body; unfortunately this means that it will slowly get worse over time.  People living with Parkinson’s will notice a deterioration in their capacity to control movements as they lose nerve cells in the part of their brains responsible for controlling these functions.

Without wanting to get too technical, there is an area in the centre of the brain made up of a small group of cells called the Substantia Nigra.   This is the part of the brain that creates dopamine, which is an important chemical in brain function.  One of the roles of Dopamine is to aid the passage of messages between the rest of the body and the brain via the spinal cord and central nervous system.  As these cells are lost or damaged the dopamine production is impacted and movement controlling messages are no longer efficiently communicated.

Whilst it is true that Parkinson’s Disease disproportionately effects older people it is not an exclusive later life condition and many thousands of people 40 and below have also received diagnosis’s.  men are also more likely to be impacted by the condition than women.  .

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?

Each individuals experience of Parkinson’s is personal to them and they will all encounter a different combination of specific symptoms that can even differ from day to day.  But, there is a range of symptoms that are reasonably common with people living with Parkinson’s:

  • Tremors, shaking or trembling involuntarily
  • Rigid Muscles and stiffness
  • Reduced balance capacity
  • Reduced speed of movement
  • Falling over
  • Constipation
  • Changed gait, often resulting in a shuffling motion when walking
  • Posture changes such as stooping forwards
  •  Freezing or inability to initiate movement
  • Difficulty getting out of a chair
  • Loss of facial expression control
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Excessive fatigue

Improving life while living with Parkinson’s Disease?

There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but there are some effective treatments, (which you should see your GP about), and also some life style focused  non-medicinal ways of making people living with the condition live better lives.  Some of these are listed below, my advice is to seek professional advice or visit Parkinson’s Care and Support UK for more detailed information and advice

Regular Exercise

Exercise is a really important place to start when trying to improve the life of someone living with Parkinson’s.  It can significantly slowdown the condition’s progress, improve the individuals  mobility and balance and reduce the impact of the motor symptoms associated with the condition.  There is a range of different types and intensities of exercises you need to find what is right for you and the stage of your journey.

Diet and Nutrition

Parkinson’s is caused by a lack of dopamine cells in your body.  So experts suggest we should increase dopamine naturally through your diet.  As with so many other conditions the key is to enjoy a well-balanced diet.  a good diet supports general brain function and maintain overall  good health. Therefore, people living with Parkinson’s disease should eat a variety of fruits, dairy, (or alternatives), healthy fats, seeds and nuts and high protein foods including chicken, fish or vegetarian equivalents.  Foods rich in Tyrosine assist the body in the making of dopamine.  Such foods include avocados, bananas, chicken and fish, eggs, beans and almonds.

A Healthy Gut

We all know that a healthy gut is the key to a healthy body, but we don’t all focus on making it as healthy as we possibly can.  This starts with the diet advice listed above, but also in avoiding highly processed foods and sugar; both of which increase bad gut bacteria and suppress good gut bacteria.  Consider specific yogurt drinks or other foods that support good gut bacteria

 Mental Health

Mental Health issues and challenges are fairly common with people living with Parkinson’s.  Your GP or specialist will discuss with you what the most appropriate course of treatment might be.

 

Speech Therapy

Living with Parkinson’s Disease can significantly impact on  your capability to speak and swallow.   Dysarthria is the term we use to describe challenges with speech and Dysphagia refers to challenges with swallowing. Both of these are life limiting symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and can have a real impact.  But, both can also be assisted by seeking help with a SALT (Speech And Language Therapist)