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Living with Parkinson's


What is Parkinson's?


"Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years. Parkinson’s is caused by a loss of nerve cells that are responsible for producing a chemical called dopamine. If these cells are damaged or die, the amount of dopamine is reduced meaning that the part of the brain controlling movement and coordination, cannot work as normal, therefore movements become slow and abnormal."


Overview


According to Parkinson’s UK, around 145 000 people live with this condition. With population growth and ageing, it is estimated a growth by nearly a fifth to 172 000 by 2030.

Unfortunately, Parkinson’s not only affect the people suffering with this condition but also has a significant impact on family, friends and carers. Therefore is it important to understand that Parkinson’s affects everyone differently, symptoms appear and develop in a different order and don’t progress at the same speed and same order.


Symptoms


The 3 main symptoms of this condition include:

  • • Involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body-tremor;

  • • Slowness of movement;

  • • Stiff and inflexible muscles-rigidity.

There are over 40 symptoms of Parkinson’s: from depression and anxiety to balance problems and memory loss. Each person can experience them differently, and the order in which they appear and the way symptoms progress can vary from person to person. As the condition progresses, the symptoms can get worse and can become difficult to carry out everyday activities without help.


Treatment


Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s, although treatment and therapies are available to help reduce the symptoms and maintain quality of life for as long as possible. These can include:

  • • Medication: levodopa, dopamine agonists and monoamine oxidase.

  • • Physical activity: walking, gardening and yoga.

  • • Therapies: physiotherapy, speech and language therapy or occupational therapy.

  • • Brain surgery, in some cases.

Thanks to research and advances in treatment, along with a range of living aids, most people living with this condition can carry out and enjoy everyday activities as normal.


My Personal Story


My mum was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014, age 56, it was very upsetting for the whole family knowing that medication helps building back damaged cells in her brain only for a few years then the condition declines. It was even harder to accept it because she is still very young and she won’t be able to enjoy her life and grandchildren as she deserves. Living with this disease for 8 years now, I am pleased to say she is doing well with her medication and physiotherapy, she is active, still independent and enjoying her hobbies: gardening and baking.


Recommended products for people living with Parkinson's


Inspired by Ravencourt Living range of quality daily living aids and having my mum in mind, knowing what will help her keeping her independent and happier for longer, I have chosen a selection of their thoughtfully designed top products:

• Soxon Sock Aid

• Easi-Grip range

• Talking Kitchen Scale and Jug

• Surefoot Shower and Bath Board with Handle

More great quality, helpful products that can help elderly and disabled people live independently for longer can be found at: www.storyandson.com


Information


If you need more help and advice Parkinson’s UK research charity helpline 0808 800 0303 can offer free and confidential advice. Their website is packed with everything you need to know about Parkisnson’s at:

https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/


Evelina Varza

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