How to Build Mobility Confidence with Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neuromuscular degenerative disorder that robs those afflicted of their motor functions over time. The disease is generally slow moving, but studies have shown that persons with Parkinson's that were active before their diagnosis and continue to be so afterwards, seem to have a much slower progression of the disorder. One of the things that seem to go hand in hand with physical activity though, is the social component of staying connected with others.
Physically, Parkinson’s patients start out just as physically fit as anyone else. As the disease progresses however, they will gradually lose range of motion particularly in the back and neck, in addition tremors, freezing, slowness, changes in balance and a decrease in muscle strength will make it difficult to maintain as active a lifestyle as they once may have led.
Up until fairly recently, it was thought that a sedentary lifestyle that minimized the chance of falls was the best option for Parkinson’s patients. But new research has proven that to not be the case. There have evolved two schools of exercise that focus on keeping patients healthy and slowing the course of the disease, organized exercise and physical activity both are valuable, but which is better for a person with Parkinson’s and how can friends, carers and family members help with increasing the confidence in their day to day mobility that a Parkinson’s patient may need?