What to Expect in Each Stage of Parkinson’s

Post-it note that says Parkinson's disease
Learn what to expect in each stage of Parkinson’s so you’re prepared to help someone you love.

More prevalent in men, and more prevalent than muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and Lou Gehrig’s disease put together, Parkinson’s disease affects around 7 – 10 million people around the world, with another 600,000 people in the U.S. diagnosed every year. And though each person’s experience with the disease differs in severity, there are five basic stages of progression. In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, our home care team wants to help you better understand what to expect in each stage of Parkinson’s.  

What Are the Stages of Parkinson’s Disease? 

Stage 1: Referred to as early-stage Parkinson’s, during the course of this stage a person generally has only mild signs that may appear as follows: 

  • Friends and family can usually observe changes in the person’s posture, balance, and facial expressions 
  • Symptoms are only on one side of the body 
  • Symptoms are bothersome, but not crippling 
  • Uncontrolled tremors or shaking in one limb may be noted 

Stage 2: During the second stage of Parkinson’s, a lack of ability to perform typical physical tasks may become more noticeable: 

  • Symptoms will affect both sides of the body 
  • The individual has minimal disability, and frequently encounters ambulatory or balance problems 
  • Posture is affected 

Stage 3: This stage is considered to be moderate Parkinson’s disease, and more significant impairment will begin to appear: 

  • There is generalized dysfunction that is relatively severe 
  • There is a substantial slowing of the body movements 
  • Early equilibrium impairment may bring about the inability to walk straight or stand 

Stage 4: Stage four represents advanced Parkinson’s disease and is accompanied by significant symptoms: 

  • Tremors may diminish or disappear for unknown reasons during this time 
  • The person is unable to perform daily tasks and typically cannot live alone 
  • Rigidity and bradykinesia, or slow movements, are often noticeable 

Stage 5: The last stage of the disease usually takes over the patient’s physical movements: 

  • One-on-one care is necessary 
  • The individual often experiences a general decline in vitality and strength of the body and mind 
  • The person may not be able to walk or stand 

At Dakota Home Care, our in-home care professionals are fully trained in all facets of senior home care, and can help individuals with Parkinson’s and other conditions of aging to live fuller, more comfortable and independent lives, right at home. Whether it’s help with personal hygiene, transportation and accompaniment to doctors’ appointments, light housekeeping and meal preparation, or just a friendly companion to brighten up the day, our senior care services are tailored to each person’s needs and preferences. Give us a call any time at (877) 691-0015 to learn more about our home care in Bismarck, Mandan, Fargo, and the surrounding areas. 

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