Parkinson's disease is a chronic progressive condition - a life-long illness that worsens over time. To live as well as possible requires attention to how we live, and how we care for ourselves. You can live well with Parkinson's disease.
Certain principles of self-care can help a person manage or even live better with chronic diseases that are progressive over time. These are listed below.
Understanding your symptoms, treatment options, medication side effects, and steps to improve is very important. Ask your doctor why you are taking your medicines, what are the side effects and what can be expected. Many problems can be improved, even if medication cannot help.
Our center regularly participates in educational programs intended to inform people about Parkinson’s Disease. Our Resources section has updated information on our educational classes and wellness programs.
Education, however, is not enough...
Working with a team requires active participation by every team member. This is also important for you and your healthcare. This step is often overlooked despite its importance. Many patients depend on their doctor or medical professionals to do all the work. The first step to being prepared is to review the Self Management Handout and complete the Dr. Visit Checklist.
Some movement problems can improve with exercise. We started a wellness program to help you make lifestyle changes to feel your best. This includes information on nutrition, exercise, the power of yoga, stress management and the benefits of creative living.
Support systems or safety nets are important to help you through the bad times and cheer you on during the good times. We offer two support groups at EvergreenHealth - one for men with a neurological conditions and one for Parkinson’s caregivers. Our staff also provides presentations and updates for local and regional support groups throughout the state.
Understanding what is most important to you and your family will help us develop long-term care plans for you. This will help identify the steps you need to make positive changes and focus on your priorities.
You are only as good as your general health. It is important to have a good primary care physician and to stay up-to-date with needed treatment. This physician can help with problems like weight management, smoking and alcohol problems, bone density screenings, blood pressure control, heart, lung and intestinal health. It is important to see your primary care physician on a regular basis for skin examinations, because people with Parkinson's disease are at greater risk of developing a skin cancer called melanoma.