What is Parkinson’s and how does it affect you and your family?

What is Parkinson’s?

Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s can lead to feelings of confusion and fear about the nature of what you now face. The key to dealing with these emotions and your diagnosis is knowledge and understanding. The condition is life-affecting but not life-threatening.

There are many ways to treat and cope with the condition effectively. The Beats Medical service is one of these ways.

Parkinson’s is a progressive, neurological condition. It is predominantly characterised by problems with body movements, known as ‘motor symptoms’. We highly recommend reading the “Guide for the newly diagnosed” published by the Michael J Fox Foundation here.

How does this affect me?

It is important to understand that Parkinson’s is a very individualistic condition. Symptoms vary greatly from person to person and usually begin slowly, develop gradually and manifest in no particular order. Everyone with Parkinson’s will have a different set of symptoms, and be on a different drug regime, so try not to compare your condition to that of others. Some of the more common motor symptoms associated with the condition are: Muscular Rigidity, Tremor, Mobility or Walking Issues, and Problems with Balance.

How does it affect my family?

Whether you are a person with Parkinson’s or care for someone with the condition, Parkinson’s may affect your relationships in different ways. This can happen at any stage throughout the progression of the condition. Relationships between partners or family members, including children and grandchildren, are those most likely to be affected.

While not everyone with Parkinson’s will find that their relationships are affected, the condition can affect mood, self-image and communication with others.

Differing reactions and expectations following diagnosis and throughout your Parkinson’s journey can also have an impact. Some people may have relationship issues when they’re adjusting to their diagnosis, while others may run into problems after many years. For loved ones of people with Parkinson’s, it’s important to know that the support you provide for your loved one is of great value, even if you sometimes feel you cannot do enough.