There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but it is possible to maintain quality of life. Living well with Parkinson’s means having a treatment plan to manage your symptoms. It also means making necessary lifestyle changes, and developing a support network, so you can continue to participate fully in life.
Your treatment plan will be focused on slowing the progress of the disease and managing your symptoms on a daily basis. This will include medications such as levodopa, as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy. For some, it may include alternative and complementary therapies, participating in clinical trials, or surgical interventions such as deep brain stimulation (DBS).
You will have to adapt your normal daily habits and routines to live well with Parkinson’s. This should include a regular exercise program (such as the Delay the Disease program offered through the Wellthon app). Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is also an important lifestyle change which can help ensure your body and medications perform at their best.
There may be changes needed in your home environment, to ensure that you can move safely despite motor symptoms. This could be as simple as rearranging some furniture, or it could mean installing ramps and other safety features. It might mean taking advantage of assistive devices, from weighted utensils to walkers or wheelchairs.
Living well with Parkinson’s is a team effort. Your team may include your spouse or partner, your medical team, in-home caregivers, family, and friends. It may also involve local support groups or other resources. Maintaining your emotional wellbeing and a hopeful outlook is often as important as maintaining your physical wellness. A solid support network makes that easier.