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What are the 5 stages of Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is unique as the side effects and symptoms can impact people in different ways. The main symptoms of Parkinson’s include uncontrollable shaking or tremors, slowed movement, balance difficulties and stiffness in limbs. 

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease often vary between individuals, with each patient’s experience varying in intensity. Not everyone will experience all Parkinson’s symptoms, yet these are the typical stages of progression that have been outlined by experts as the disease begins to worsen. The different stages of Parkinson’s disease help doctors and other professionals evaluate how far the disease has advanced in their patients to identify an appropriate course of action. 

Parkinson’s Disease Stages

Stage 1 

This is the mildest form of Parkinson’s that any individual can experience. During stage 1, there may be slight symptoms, but, they are not severe enough to significantly impact daily tasks and overall standards of living. In many cases, Parkinson’s symptoms can be so minimal that they are easily missed. 

A common stage 1 symptom of Parkinson’s disease is tremors or other movement difficulties only impacting one side of the body. Some patients in this stage may notice changes in posture, walking and facial expressions. There are various different prescribable medications that can work to reduce any symptoms during this stage of the disease. 

Stage 2

The second stage is a moderate form of Parkinson’s as the symptoms are more noticeable than the previous stage. Stiffness, trembling and tremors may be more severe (across one or both sides of the body) and changes in facial expression can become more apparent. 

Whilst stiffness in the muscles can prolong the amount of time taken to complete tasks, a person within stage 2 would still be able to live alone. Nonetheless, daily tasks and activities will become more difficult and time-consuming to accomplish. The progression between stage 1 and 2 can take months or even years – and there is no way to accurately predict how long it will take for an individual to progress between these stages of Parkinson’s disease. 

Stage 3 

Stage 3 is considered the ‘middle stage’ of Parkinson’s, marking a major turning point in the progression of the disease. The symptoms remain similar to those in stage 2, however, patients within this stage are now more likely to experience decreased reflexes. loss of balance and all-round slower movement. This is the reason falls become more common within stage 3; as general coordination begins to decrease considerably. 

A person within this stage can remain fully independent, however, symptoms in this stage significantly impact daily activities such as dressing, washing and eating. A combination of medication and occupational therapy can help somewhat decrease the symptoms. 

Stage 4 

This is the stage where most Parkinson’s disease patients lose their independence and have to rely on care and assistance to live comfortably. During stage 4, Parkinson’s symptoms become severe and restrict the overall possibilities of the sufferer considerably. 

It’s possible to stand without any assistance, yet walking from one place to another requires assistance from a carer and/or a device such as a walker. The patient will now require help with most daily tasks and activities – making it incredibly dangerous to live alone. 

Stage 5  

Stage 5 is the most advanced of the stages of Parkinson’s disease. The legs can become so stiff that it becomes somewhat impossible to stand or walk. As balance and control of the body also continue to decrease, round the clock assistance is necessary to prevent injury through falling. To combat this, the individual may require a wheelchair to move around, or alternatively, may become bedridden. 

Up to 30% of people within this stage experience confusion, delusions and hallucinations. As the stage advances, Dementia can also occur, making it difficult to concentrate, conversate and think clearly. In this stage, full-time assistance is necessary in the form of a full-time carer. 

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Parkinson’s Care with Trinity Homecare

Receiving the highest levels of care at home unearths many benefits for Parkinson’s patients. Our specially trained TrinityCarers are there to provide one-to-one personalised care; giving you more care and attention around the clock than you would receive in a care home. 

Additionally, living in your familiar surroundings can also help significantly reduce the risk of trips and falls, which can cause serious damage later in life as the rate of recovery significantly decreases. Unfamiliar environments can also cause extreme confusion for Parkinson’s patients in the later stages – so remaining at home can boost mental awareness through familiar comforts and surroundings. 

Our daily visiting care or live-in care options are entirely flexible and can be tailored to the stage of Parkinson’s disease you are currently within, allowing you to maintain the exact level of independence you desire until you require full-time assistance. 

Trinity’s home care services are rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC, so you can find peace of mind knowing you or your loved one is in the safest of hands whilst receiving care from our team. We have a wealth of experience dealing with Parkinson’s disease and the symptoms it brings, helping those with the disease live an enriched lifestyle no matter the circumstances. We feel it is entirely possible to live happily and comfortably with Parkinson’s disease, and we are committed to providing compassionate care to help you on your life’s journey. 

Contact us today with any care related enquiries and a friendly member of our team will be happy to discuss them with you.