Quality of life is not an easy term to define. Each person will likely have a different definition. A basic definition of quality of life is the degree to which you enjoy life and the possibilities it holds for you. Quality of life must also take into consideration your current problems, disease symptoms and the ability to adapt to any disease of life changes.
It is easy to assume that quality of life will automatically decline or worsen as Parkinson's movement symptoms worsen. Some people continue to live high quality and full lives despite loss in mobility.
If your Parkinson's changes over time, or as you age, you may need to make some life changes. Some of these life changes may seem like a loss to you. However, it is important to remember that what you value or what is important to you can change over time.
Also, if your disease limits your ability to do something, it is possible to shift your focus to something else. For example, movement and physical abilities may still be important to a person who was a good athlete, but as this athlete gets older, other priorities such as family, friends or spirituality become equally or even more important. By paying attention to these new priorities over time quality of life can continue to grow in a positive direction.
For many, quality living can be divided into some of the very categories or principles that are a part of patient-centered care and reviewed in that section
What About Me? This includes not only your physical abilities but also your mood, anxiety or worries, desires, hobbies, preferences and strengths.
Relationships: What relationships are important to you? This may include the ability to spend time with family friends. It may include community, volunteer or religious activities. It may even include your living environment.
Staying Active: Can I still make choices, and decide important things for myself? Am I doing what I can for myself, my disease or my loved one? This includes more than your physical abilities or ability to move.
The Wellness program contains an exercise that can be help you define what is most important to your quality living and steps to help with this.