What is Parkinson’s Disease? / World Parkinson’s Awareness Week

Many of us will have heard of Parkinson’s Disease, but we might not necessarily know what it is or understand what it means for the people who have it. As it’s World Parkinson’s Week, it is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and funds for those who suffer with the disease in the hopes of improving their quality of life.


Around 145,000 people live with Parkinson’s Disease in the UK, and this figure is growing – it’s the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Unfortunately, there is also no cure, meaning people who develop the disease have it for their lifetime.

So, what is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive nervous system disorder, meaning it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time. To be more specific, it’s a disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantial nigra.

What does this actually mean for people suffering with Parkinson’s disease?

Their movement is affected, and it can get progressively worse over time. Symptoms usually start gradually and in different forms. They can be mild enough to go unnoticed, and the development can be quick or slow over years.

The main 3 symptoms are as follows:

Tremor: It usually begins in a limb, commonly your hand or fingers.

Slowed movement (bradykinesia): Your movement may become increasingly slower, such as having shorter steps, dragging your feet as you try to walk.

Rigid muscles: This can occur in any part of your body – it can be painful and limit your range of motion.

Further symptoms are:

Impaired posture and balance: You may experience a stooped posture and problems with your balance.

Loss of automatic movements: The ability to perform basic movements may become a struggle, such as blinking, smiling, or swinging your arms when you walk.

Speech changes: Speaking softly, quickly, or slurring, as well as becoming more monotone.

Freezing: Suddenly stopping whilst doing repetitive tasks, like walking or brushing your teeth.

Speech: Problems with your speech and communication, and even swallowing.

Living with Parkinson’s disease can be both mentally and physically draining, so it’s important that you do things to target both the mind and the body.

Being active is extremely beneficial. Exercise helps the brain to use dopamine more efficiently which can lessen the onset of the disorder. You can adapt the level of exercise depending on how far on your Parkinson’s has developed.


If your symptoms are mild, vigorous activity that works the whole body is the best option. If symptoms are slightly more developed, exercise that requires effort and challenges you is the better option. For example, a 20 minute fast paced walk, or exercises that help with strength and balance like Yoga and Pilates. When your symptoms are even further developed, practicing simple everyday movements is helpful, like getting up from a chair.

How to help a loved one with Parkinson’s disease…

Learning about the disease and gaining an understanding of what they’re going through will not only allow you to talk about it with them more easily, but also enable you to react faster when your loved one needs help.

Encouragement will go a long way. Mentally, they may be feeling unmotivated and depressed, so trying to implement positivity through an active and social lifestyle may re-engage their life.

Taking them for a walk and getting them out the house will support their need for exercise and give them a change of scenery as well as a dose of fresh air. Going with them to exercise classes or aiding them with simple at-home activities may take away some of their stress.

Suggesting a support group or simply visiting them for a chat may just be the social interaction they need to prevent loneliness. It’s essential, however, that they feel like they still have some normality in their life, without feeling totally different or outcast because of their disease.

Find out more about Parkinson’s Disease here.

Share :

Join The Team

Subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter with stories from our latest adventures and the best travel tips

Related Posts

How to protect against coronavirus covid 19

What You Need To Do To Stay Safe Coronavirus Advice Guidelines: Always wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly for at least 20 seconds Stay at least 2 metres apart Avoid group congregations Those over 70 or with underlying conditions should take extra care Face-to-face interaction should be significantly limited during this outbreak Doing these simple things could help save the life of someone you care about. All our Community Care Assistants are working tirelessly to keep your loved ones safe. If you wish to find out further information on how best to keep you and your relatives safe, either click the buttons below or visit the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Movember 2021 at React Homecare

This year, React Homecare took part in Movember. Movember is the leading charity who are “changing the face of men’s health”. They raise awareness about mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer and in doing so, are also creating a supportive environment for men all over the world to feel that they can speak up in. Since starting the movement in 2003, Movember has funded over 1,250 men’s health projects globally and they’re not stopping there. By 2030, their aim is to reduce 25% of men dying prematurely. So, to support this movement and all the men we have in the offices, as Service Users, as family and as friends, we at React Homecare decided to take part! We had individuals who: Grew a moustache Walked/ran/cycled 60km over the month – this is for the 60 men that are lost to suicide every hour around the world Had a Mo-ment Mo-ed their own way – some individuals set their own challenges such as 100 squats a day/a week to push themselves.   If we can help contribute to raising awareness and funding more men’s health projects that result in saving people’s lives, we’re all for it.   For more information about any topics mentioned above, please see the following links: Movember: https://uk.movember.com/?home Mental Health/Suicide Prevention: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ Prostate Cancer: https://prostatecanceruk.org/ Testicular Cancer: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/testicular-cancer/

React Homecare Raise Money for Alzheimer’s Society

On Friday 3rd December, staff in the Head Office at React Homecare participated in Elf Day in support of Alzheimer’s Society. All staff dressed up, whether it was the full outfit, a festive elf onesie or just an Elf hat – the efforts were very impressive and kept spirits high! We work hard here at React Homecare in order to provide the high quality services to those who need our help, and it’s great that we have the environment where we can join in in raising money for charities and have some fun with it! We are pleased to announce that we have raised £110.00 for the Alzheimer’s Society and we hope to continue raising awareness about the fight against Dementia. It is a topic close to our hearts as it is one of the services we offer at React Homecare. Thank you for all the support and to the staff we have here who helped make it happen! All donations were made digitally to continue and further ensure safety amongst our staff. If you feel that we can help a loved one of yours who is battling dementia, give your local branch a call and let’s have a conversation about what we would be able to do to help. If you would like more information about the Alzheimer’s Society, please follow the link: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

Home Care & Support Services