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What Every CNA Needs to Know About Parkinson’s Disease
There are several conditions of the body that are frightening because the symptoms worsen gradually, eventually leading to death. When a person is diagnosed with a chronic illness that has no cure, the mental and physical trauma can be difficult to bear. Parkinson’s disease is one such illness. Mild symptoms can appear suddenly with no known cause. As a CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant, an important concept to internalize is that diseases such as Parkinson’s may not have a cure, but patients who suffer from them can still find relief.
One of the most valuable forms of care that a CNA can provide to someone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s is an upbeat attitude and empathy for the patient’s plight. Some of the most common treatments for Parkinson’s require lengthy convalescent time periods. In such cases, the patient may request the help of a CNA at home or in a care facility. The beginning stages of the disease can be the most frightening for patients and that is when they need an extra dose of support.
Especially in earlier stages, those who suffer from Parkinson’s can still move relatively unencumbered. Providing stimulating yet gentle forms of physical exertion can help people with the disease experience an improved quality of life and keep their body as healthy as possible. Along with physical signs and symptoms, Parkinson’s also affects cognition and speech. It is absolutely crucial to understand that just because someone suffers from a degenerative disease, that they are not insensitive. Acting like a patient cannot think is absolutely discouraged. Even if a person with Parkinson’s cannot speak easily, that does not mean that they cannot hear and feel.
As Parkinson’s disease gradually progresses, sufferers become less and less active. During such times, families must make hard decisions concerning end-of-life care. In many cases, a nurse will be hired to help the patient with bodily functions and to prevent negative side effects like bed sores. Although such work can be difficult, many CNA’s discover that the work is rewarding as the suffering of a patient can be lessened with the help of an excellent care provider.
As with any type of medical care, helping a patient with Parkinson’s does not need to be complex, but it should be performed with compassion and professionalism. It is likely that newer, more effective treatments will soon be developed for those who suffer from Parkinson’s, but until then, many victims of this condition will rely on the care performed by qualified physicians and CNA’s.