Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition. This means that it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time. People with Parkinson’s don’t have enough of the chemical dopamine because some of the nerve cells that make it have died.
There are many potential signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s, and each person can experience them differently. The more common symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremor, rigidity (stiffness), slowness of movement, mild memory and thinking problems, sleep problems, pain, and mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.
You may hear Parkinson’s symptoms referred to as motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms affect your movement. They include tremor, rigidity, and muscle cramps.
Non-motor symptoms affect you in other ways that may not be easily seen by other people. They include pain, sleep problems and mental health issues.
Caring for someone with Parkinson’s
If you are looking after someone with Parkinson’s you can find information around their care needs and support for you from Parkinson’s UK – parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/caring-someone-parkinsons
Parkinson’s UK sees carers as an equal priority in the support they offer. The easiest way for people to access support and information is through the Parkinson’s Connect team who will triage your call and link you into the most appropriate support to meet your need. You can contact them on their helpline number 0808 800 0303. The helpline is the way into tailored and personalised support for individuals and is particularly valued by carers seeking emotional support.
There are around 365 Parkinson’s UK local groups throughout the UK, which are run by volunteers usually who have experience of Parkinson’s. The groups welcome family members and carers, and some involve health or social care professionals.
Many groups hold social events and activities too. Enter your town or postcode into the Parkinson’s UK group finder to find groups and activities that are taking place nearest to you – parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/local-groups
They have a number of local groups including one in East Dorset, Weymouth and Dorchester – localsupport.parkinsons.org.uk/provider/weymouth-and-dorchester-branch – and one in Bridport – localsupport.parkinsons.org.uk/provider/bridport-and-district-support-group.
Dance for PD offer dance classes in Bournemouth and Weymouth. You can see their full list of class on their website – danceforparkinsons.org/take-a-class. They also have a range of resources to keep you dancing at home.