What is Parkinson’s Disease? Everything you need to know.

What is Parkinson's Disease Blog by TAMCARE Home Health

What is Parkinson’s Disease? Everything you need to know.

This April marks Parkinson’s awareness month in Canada, and it is important to know what Parkinson’s is to best support your loved ones experiencing this challenging disease. In this article, we will cover what Parkinson’s disease is, effective ways to manage the symptoms, and strategies to support those who are dealing with it.

What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that affects movement. It is characterized by the degeneration of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain, leading to a range of symptoms including tremors, rigidity, and impaired balance and coordination. Parkinson’s disease affects people of all ages, but it is most commonly diagnosed in people around the age of 60.

PD affects more than 10 million people worldwide, with more than 100,000 Canadians living with the disease. While the disease is most commonly diagnosed in people over 60 years of age, it can also affect younger individuals.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can vary from person to person and often develop slowly over time. Common symptoms include:

  • Tremors: Involuntary shaking or tremors, usually in the hands, arms, or legs
  • Rigidity: Stiffness or inflexibility of the limbs and torso
  • Bradykinesia: Slowness of movement, difficulty starting or continuing movement, and general lack of coordination
  • Postural instability: Difficulty with balance and coordination, leading to falls and injuries

In addition to these motor symptoms, Parkinson’s disease can also cause non-motor symptoms such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and cognitive impairment.

Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Treatment of Parkinson’s disease aims to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. There are several medications that can help manage the symptoms of PD, including dopamine agonists and levodopa. In addition to medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can also be helpful in managing the symptoms of PD.

In some cases, surgery may be an option for people with Parkinson’s disease. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure that involves implanting electrodes in specific areas of the brain to improve symptoms of PD.

Supporting a Loved One With Parkinson’s Disease

With the loss of movement and rigidity that comes with Parkinson’s, it can be hard to witness and navigate as a caregiver. It can be helpful to educate yourself on the disease to know what they are going through, or to join a Parkinson’s support group to connect with others who are going through similar experiences.

The most important thing is to be patient and understanding, as Parkinson’s disease can affect both mood and cognitive abilities. Offer emotional support by listening, being compassionate, and providing encouragement. Exercise can also be beneficial to improve mobility and balance, so try to encourage them to stay physically active with regular activities.

Staying involved in the care plan can help you support them even further. Parkinson’s disease is often treated with medications to alleviate symptoms, so keeping track of schedules and dosages for them can help alleviate some of the stress.

Although these tips are helpful to alleviate the stress from your loved one, try to always put yourself first when caring for someone and recognizing that you can’t solve the problem entirely. It may be too hard for one single person to manage all of these activities or keeping up with the progression of the disease.

If you are in need of extra support, our team can help your loved one’s regain control of their life through in-home personal assistance. We can help with anything from medication management to household cleaning, giving your loved one’s the freedom to age in the comfort of their own home.


Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that affects movement. While there is currently no cure for PD, there are many treatments available to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, it is important to speak with a doctor to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, or to seek extra support if needed.

Feel free to reach out to our team to see if a home care plan is right for your loved one.

Reach out to the TAMCARE Team

Published by TAMCARE Home Health Ltd.

We are here to help your loved ones age at home with dignity.

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