Medical Dictionary | Parkinson's Disease HOME
Living with Parkinson's disease

Early on, Parkinson's disease may not greatly disrupt your life. But for most people, the disease becomes more disabling over time. Home treatment can help you adjust as the disease progresses and help you remain independent for as long as possible. The quality of your life may depend in part on your ability to continue working, maintain a home, care for your family, and remain independent. Adaptive devices such as canes or walkers may become necessary as the disease progresses.

Aspects of home treatment that are important for a person with Parkinson's disease include:

Modifying your activities and your home, such as simplifying your daily activities and changing the location of furniture so that you can hold on to something as you move around the house.

Eating healthy foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, legumes, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.

Exercising and doing physical therapy, which have benefits in both early and advanced stages of the disease.

Dealing with tremor, which may include putting a little weight on the hand to help reduce tremor and restore control.

Improving speech quality by working with a speech therapist (also called a speech-language pathologist).

Reducing problems with eating and drooling by changing how and what you eat.

Dealing with "freezing" by various means, such as stepping towards a specific target on the ground.

Dealing with sexual function problems. Talk to your health professional about your specific issues. He or she may be able to suggest a change in your treatment, such as a change in your medicine or exercise.

Dealing with depression. If you are feeling sad or depressed, ask a friend or family member for help. If these feelings don't go away, or if they get worse, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to suggest someone for you to talk to or give you medicine that will help.

Dealing with dementia. Dementia is common late in Parkinson's disease. Symptoms may include confusion and memory loss. If you or a family member notice that you are confused a lot or have trouble thinking clearly, talk to your doctor. There are medicines that can help dementia in people with Parkinson's disease.

Medical Dictionary | Parkinson's Disease HOME