Parkinson’s is a complex disease that has different effects on health as it progresses. The Hoehn and Yahr scale is a tool many doctors use to track developing symptoms and offer treatment solutions, though other metrics are available. The following breaks down the different stages of this classification system to improve the understanding of Parkinson’s disease.
The 5 Stages of Parkinson’s
Symptoms are typically mild during this stage. Problems with movement or slight tremors often occur. They usually only impact one side of the body. Common activities and tasks are usually not affected. Medication prescribed by a doctor will often prove extremely helpful, as will lifestyle changes like healthy eating and exercise.
Trouble walking usually becomes apparent. Issues with rigidity grow worse, often impacting both sides of the body. The ability to complete activities may be affected. Speech difficulties, changes in posture, and limited range of facial expression may also happen. In addition to medication, physical or occupational therapy may help.
This stage on the scale is characterized by an increased risk of falls. Movements also become slower and balance can be gravely disturbed. The patient may need increased assistance with chores like grooming and meal preparation.
Walking aids are often necessary by this stage. Loss of independence occurs for many people at this time, as movement-related symptoms tend to become much more severe. Daily help is usually needed, and many people are no longer able to live alone.
This final stage is the most limiting. Stiffness in the lower extremities usually requires the use of a wheelchair or bed confinement. Many families also opt for nursing care at this point, as the person experiencing the illness is no longer be able to care for themselves. Along with these physical symptoms, some people also experience delusional thinking or even hallucinations. They may also stop responding well to medication. Thankfully, with care and management, many people never reach this stage.
When experiencing the effects of Parkinson’s, having the proper support is crucial to delaying the progress of the disease. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with this condition or are caring for a loved one, turn to Connecticut Advocates For Parkinson's for help. This organization provides essential information and resources for those in need throughout the state, enhancing quality of life. These dedicated volunteers also provide information on clinical trials so that Parkinson’s patients can access new therapies. Call (860) 266-6040 today to learn more about their offerings. Check out the calendar of upcoming events by visiting the website.