What happens if Parkinson’s is left untreated?

Parkinson’s Disease and its impact. 

As defined by the Mayo Clinic, Parkinson’s Disease is defined as a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Parkinson’s disease is measured in different stages in which early signs may be mild, whereas later signs can cause severe impairments in motor, cognitive, and social functioning. Some of the hallmark signs of Parkinson’s include tremors, the slowing of movements, loss of balance, and most importantly, loss of independence. When left untreated, the impact of this disease not only impacts the person but their family and loved ones who at times are left with unanswered questions on what steps to take.

What happens if left untreated?

As an occupational therapist at Life Skills Village, my focus is always on function and independence. Two areas are drastically impacted by Parkinson’s. From losing one’s self-identity, self-esteem, and confidence, there are some safety concerns associated with untreated Parkinsons as well. This disease impacts the entire person including their motor, speech, cognitive, and social skills. This can lead to falls in the home and the community, social isolation, ability to age in place in the home, and engagement in meaningful activities. As there is no cure for this disease, there are ways to manage it. This is where I come into play as a certified LSVT BIG® therapist specializing in Parkinson’s disease and management. The combination of this with proper medication management can prove to be the potion we use to manage this disease.

What’s going on today in treatment? 

Being a certified LSVT BIG therapist means I can implement evidence-based treatment to combat the impact that Parkinson’s has on the client and their families. Through 16 individualized 1-hour treatment sessions and retraining of the functional skills required to re-engage in meaningful activities, you can alleviate symptoms such as slow walking pace, fall risk, and decreased range of motion. With this, you can improve gait, strength, reduce the risk of falls, and most importantly, get back to doing what matters to you. This, in combination with proper medication management from your Neurologist, is a proposed method of treatment in managing Parkinson’s.

How can you reach me?

You can find me doing LSVT BIG treatments at Life Skills Village, a division of Mind Health Group, located in Oak Park, Michigan. Any questions, please reach out to Matthew Horne, OTR/L at 248-788-4300 or at MatthewH@mindhealthgroup.com. For more information about the LSVT programs, visit lsvtglobal.com.