HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – April is National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. Many Americans are living with the disease, or know someone who is.
Parkinson’s is a disorder of the central nervous system that impacts movement. Nearly one million Americans are currently living with Parkinson’s disease, but if you know someone with the disorder, there are things you can do to help.
Bradford Meythaler is the president of Right at Home, a group that outsources nurses and caregivers to help disabled adults live independently at home. Based on his experiences with Parkinson’s patients, he said there are small things we can do to help loved ones with the day to day management of the disease.
“For those loved ones or friends with Parkinson’s disease, it’s very important to create a daily routine, so it’s very important to take medicine on time, to exercise or take small walks,” Meythaler said. “With Parkinson’s, it’s very important we stay active.”
According to Meythaler, physical therapy programs are also an important part of Parkinson’s management. Locally Rock Steady Boxing offers boxing programs that help those with Parkinson’s build power, strength, flexibility, and speed.
For most Parkinson’s patients, symptoms may appear gradually, sometimes with tremors or stiffness. Most Parkinson’s patients begin to develop symptoms when they are over the age of 50, but for some, the condition presents itself around the age of 40.
“It’s so important to bring awareness to our community, to our loved ones, for out friends that have Parkinson’s,” Meythaler said. “Let them know that you are cheering for them. We’re all in this together as a community.”
For more information about living with Parkinson’s or to find more ways you can join the fight against Parkinson’s, you can visit parkinson.org.