Nursing Care for Parkinson’s Disease Explained
You or a loved one was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease; now what? At the beginning of the disease, you will most likely be able to manage symptoms independently with possible help from your loved ones. But as the disease progresses, things get a little more challenging. That’s where nursing care comes in.
Nursing care provides medical and personal support to individuals who require support due to their illness. It includes a wide range of services such as administering medications, monitoring vital signs, assisting with activities of daily living, providing education and emotional support, and coordinating care with other healthcare professionals.
Read what nursing care looks like for individuals living with Parkinson’s disease and how nurses can support patients as the disease progresses. Nurses are here to help you or your loved one manage the challenging symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and help you maintain independence for as long as possible.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder typically brought on by genetic and environmental factors that affect the brain and causes problems with physical movement. If you are experiencing symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, muscle atrophy, slow movements, or difficulty with balance and coordination, seeking medical attention is essential.
Dopamine plays a crucial role in controlling a person’s movement. A loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain causes Parkinson’s disease. When these neurons die, it can lead to the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
While there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, treatments available can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Medications can be prescribed to increase dopamine levels in the brain, also known as dopamine agonists. Pd patients may also opt for physical therapy and exercises that can help improve mobility and reduce stiffness.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s’, it’s also essential to make lifestyle changes to help manage symptoms, such as eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress. If you are experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor and get the help and support you need.
Who Cares for Someone With Parkinson’s Disease?
Many people make up the Parkinsons’ disease care team. Depending on a patient’s ability, the care team may shift over time due to the disease progression.
In the early stages, pd patients typically have a primary caregiver. Usually, the role falls onto a family member or loved one. They will also most likely enlist in physical therapy and other therapies to ensure they are maintaining their strength and mobility.
In later stages, especially in advanced Parkinson’s disease, the care team may evolve and may include more specialists like:
- Neurologist: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
- Movement disorder specialist: A neurologist who has additional training and expertise in the treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
- Physical therapist: A healthcare professional who specializes in helping people improve their mobility, balance, and coordination through exercises and other techniques.
- Occupational therapy A healthcare professional who helps people with Parkinson’s disease learn new ways to perform everyday tasks and activities, such as dressing and bathing.
- Speech-language pathologist: A healthcare professional who specializes in helping people with Parkinson’s disease improve their communication skills and overcome difficulties with speech and swallowing.
- Social worker: A healthcare professional who can provide emotional support, help connect people with Parkinson’s disease to resources in their community, and assist with financial and insurance issues.
- Nurse: A nurse may be necessary to provide additional support and care. In the later stages of Parkinson disease, a nurse can help with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding. They can also manage medication, provide patient and family education, monitor oxygen saturation, wound care, and other nursing interventions.
- Caregiver: A family member, friend, or professional caregiver who provides practical and emotional support to someone with Parkinson’s disease. Caregivers can play an essential role in helping people with advanced Parkinson’s disease maintain their independence and quality of life.
When Is Nursing Care Required for Parkinson’s Disease?
If you or a loved one are living with Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to know that nursing care may be required as the disease progresses. As symptoms become more severe, especially with elderly patients or patients who experience cognitive impairment, nursing care can provide the support and assistance needed to maintain independence and quality of life.
Nursing care can help with medication management, wound care, and other nursing interventions. A nurse can also provide patient and family education and teach caregivers how to manage the disease’s symptoms, monitor the patient, and navigate the healthcare system.
At Nurse Next Door, our compassionate and experienced nurses are dedicated to providing high-quality care to individuals with Parkinson’s disease. We understand the unique needs and challenges of living with Parkinson’s and are committed to helping our clients live their best lives possible.
If you or a loved one could benefit from nursing care for Parkinson’s disease, we encourage you to reach out to Nurse Next Door. Our team is here to support you and provide the care and assistance you need to live well with Parkinson’s disease.
Contact us today at 1-877-588-8609 to learn more about our nursing services.
What Is Nursing Care for Parkinson’s Disease?
Nursing care for Parkinson’s disease can include a variety of services.
Here is an example of what a day in the life of nursing care for someone with Parkinson’s disease might look like:
- 7:00 AM: The nurse arrives at the client’s home and begins the day by assessing the patient’s ability, assessing safety precautions, and checking the client’s condition. Nurses will also review their medication schedule for the day.
- 8:00 AM: The nurse assists the client with getting out of bed, performing any necessary personal care tasks, and getting dressed.
- 9:00 AM: The nurse prepares breakfast for the client and helps them eat if needed. During this time, a nurse can assess respiratory status, monitor the patient’s ability, monitor the client’s vital signs, and note any changes or concerns.
- 10:00 AM: The nurse leads the client through a series of exercises, including deep breathing exercises to encourage deep breathing and mobility exercises. Mobility exercises might include stretching, balance training, and other therapeutic activities to help with muscle weakness, muscle rigidity, and proper posture.
- 11:00 AM: The nurse helps the client with any necessary household tasks, such as laundry, cleaning, or meal preparation.
- 12:00 PM: The nurse will administer antiparkinsonian medications to the client as needed, including other medications prescribed by doctors ensuring that they receive the correct dosage at the right time.
- 1:00 PM: The nurse assists the client with lunch and takes time to connect with them on a personal level, offering emotional support and companionship.
- 2:00 PM: The nurse helps the client engage in hobbies or leisure activities that they enjoy, such as reading, puzzles, or games.
- 3:00 PM: The nurse performs any necessary wound care or medical procedures, including wound dressing changes, monitoring assistive devices, or blood glucose monitoring. Sometimes palliative treatment is necessary if the patient is deemed palliative.
- 4:00 PM: The nurse provides any necessary education or support to the client and their family members, answering questions and offering guidance on managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- 5:00 PM: The nurse assists the client with dinner and helps them with any necessary personal care tasks.
- 6:00 PM: The nurse will prepare for bedtime by supporting the client with transferring or dressing.
- 7:00 PM: A nurse will complete their shift and provide any necessary updates or recommendations to the client’s care team.
Depending on a client’s needs, a nurse may also provide supplemental oxygen or administer oxygen, maintain patent airways, monitor mood changes, attend and accompany them to appointments, assist with repositioning, or change out the catheter, all while managing symptoms to the best of their ability.
Throughout the day, the nurse remains attentive to the client’s needs and provides compassionate, high-quality care to ensure their comfort and well-being. By working closely with the client and their family members, the nurse helps them manage the challenges of Parkinson’s disease and maintain their independence and quality of life.
What Is the Standard of Care for Parkinson’s Disease?
The standard of nursing care for Parkinson’s disease is based on each person’s individual needs. However, there are some general standards that nursing care should meet to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Nursing care for Parkinson’s disease should be compassionate and person-centered and encourage independence and quality of life. This includes:
- Regular assessments of the person’s physical and emotional needs and adjusting care accordingly.
- Assistance with medication management and monitoring for any side effects or complications.
- Helping the person with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and feeding.
- Providing education and support to the person and their family members on managing symptoms, preventing falls, and navigating the healthcare system.
- Monitoring for any changes in symptoms or health status and communicating with the healthcare team as needed.
At Nurse Next Door, our standard of nursing care for Parkinson’s disease is based on building strong relationships with our clients and providing personalized care that meets their unique needs. We believe in treating each person with kindness, respect, and dignity and in supporting them to live their best lives possible.