The medical landscape in Australia is continually advancing and innovating, particularly in the field of neurological disease research. One of the most prominent neurological diseases in the world is Parkinson’s Disease, with two people every hour being diagnosed with the illness. April is recognised as Parkinson’s Awareness Month, with the 11th of April being the official date of World Parkinson’s Day. At Karingal Green, we understand that there is a demand for specialist aged care and nurturing support for people with individual needs. By raising awareness and offering a safe space for people to live and connect, our goal is to provide quality care to people from all walks of life.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting the dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. Symptoms generally develop slowly over years and the progression of symptoms can vary from person to person due to the diversity of the disease. Common symptoms include tremors in the hands, slowness of movement, limb stiffness and postural instability. The direct cause of the disease is largely unknown, however scientists believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors can lead to its onset.
Myths About Parkinson’s Disease
- The first myth about Parkinson’s Disease is that it only affects the elderly. Whilst the average person diagnosed with the disease is around 60 years old, Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (YOPD) exists for 1 in 5 of people under the age of 50.
- Another misconception about this disease is that everyone with Parkinson’s Disease has tremors. It is true that Parkinson’s disease symptoms include shaking and tremors, rigid muscles, slowness of movement, and a frozen or “flat” expression, but there is more to the disease than motor impairment. Nonmotor symptoms include cognitive impairment or dementia, anxiety and depression, fatigue and sleep problems. Research and awareness into these symptoms are increasing in the medical space.
- A common belief is that research on Parkinson’s Disease has stalled. It may feel as though nothing sensational is developing in the Parkinson’s disease field, but in fact, several recent breakthroughs regarding the underlying pathology and disease mechanism have occurred. Scientists are exploring ways to identify biomarkers for Parkinson’s Disease that could lead to earlier diagnosis and more tailored treatments to slow down the disease process. It is thought that these will eventuate into clinical results in the next few years.
How Karingal Green supports patients with Parkinson’s Disease and other types of care
Karingal Green offers a Parkinson’s specific care program, with a dedicated wing for people living with this condition. Our program offers a multidisciplinary care approach with support provided by physiotherapists, dietitians and occupational therapists. Alongside Parkinson’s, Karingal Green specialises in other types of care surrounding dementia, respite care and young people in aged care. Our team is committed to delivering the care needed to ensure that these residents live fulfilling lives and can engage in the many activities available at Karingal Green.
If you or a loved one are interested in finding more about how Karingal Green can assist with the personalised care and wellbeing of your health and diagnosis click here to contact us about your needs.