This blog is the third in a series detailing the roles of each member of a comprehensive care team.
People with complex, chronic illnesses such as Parkinson's benefit from an interdisciplinary health care team. Collaboration by various health care providers can lead to more individualized treatment, a specialized care plan and, ultimately, better quality of life.
It is difficult to provide broad, yet helpful occupational therapy tips for Parkinson’s disease (PD). As the saying goes, “When you have met one person with Parkinson’s disease, you have met one person with Parkinson’s disease.” The best tip I can give you as an occupational therapist is to find and regularly see an occupational therapist in your area who specializes in skilled therapy treatment for people with Parkinson’s.
People with Parkinson's who seek expert care have better outcomes. They are at a lower risk of complications, have a better quality of life and even live longer. In fact, each year in the U.S. alone, neurologist care saves about 4,600 lives, and better access to this care could prevent the deaths of another 7,000 people with Parkinson's.
NPF’s Centers of Excellence exemplify our clinical think-tank: a group of the world’s leading Parkinson’s specialists focused on changing the course of Parkinson’s disease. Forty-one leading medical centers worldwide –
In the October issue of the journal Neurology, Willis and colleagues addressed the impact neurologist care has on hospitalization. Willis and colleagues recently reported in another paper that the involvement of a neurologist in the care of Parkinson’s disease patients reduced morbidity, decreased nursing home placement, and improved overall survival. The researchers examined Medicare beneficiaries over a four year period, and identified those with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
One of the most common questions we hear from patients is, “what can I do to be sure I am getting the best possible treatment for my Parkinson’s disease?” Most doctors focus on treatment-based recommendations (e.g. drugs, exercise, diet, etc.). The initial answer to this patient question should probably simply be “make sure you are co-managed by both a neurologist and a primary care physician.”