Understanding Parkinson’s Fatigue: It Feels Like “Walking Through Molasses”

Understanding Parkinson’s Fatigue: It Feels Like “Walking Through Molasses”

Parkinson’s fatigue affects a person cognitively, physically, and emotionally.

Parkinson’s fatigue affects as many as one in two people with the disease, but until recently, we haven’t fully understood just how debilitating this condition actually is. A study is providing us with the insight we need to comprehend the impact of Parkinson’s fatigue, and what we can do to help someone experiencing it. Led by Duke University’s Sneha Mantri, MD, the goal of the research was to gain firsthand patient insights to know how to better address this challenging condition.

Three distinct areas of fatigue were investigated in the study: physical, emotional, and cognitive. Participants were asked to describe their level of fatigue, and the terms they used were quite revealing, including feeling unmotivated, overwhelmed, isolated, lacking energy, and as if they were “walking through molasses.”

Parkinson’s fatigue has also been described as impacting each and every muscle in the body, even those that are involuntary, resulting in weakness and at times pain that can linger for hours. Participants in the study also explained that their emotions tend to be more intense and difficult to manage. Fatigue can be worsened when those with Parkinson’s have:

  • Overextended themselves physically
  • Eaten a meal that was too heavy, or the wrong types of foods
  • Been under a great deal of stress
  • Not received enough sleep
  • Become under-hydrated
  • Been sick with a virus
  • Skipped a dose of medication

How Can Home Care Help with Parkinson’s Fatigue?

Home care can be a tremendous help with someone experiencing fatigue or any other effects from Parkinson’s disease. Our personalized solutions begin with an in-home consultation to learn about the particular challenges the person and their family support system are facing. We then create a customized plan of care to outline how we can help overcome these challenges through services such as:

  • Preparing nutritious meals and ensuring sufficient hydration
  • Running errands to pick up prescriptions, groceries, etc.
  • Providing medication reminders to make sure meds are taken exactly as prescribed
  • Offering friendly companionship to engage in conversations, fun activities, outings, etc.
  • Motivating the person to stick to a recommended exercise routine
  • Helping with light housekeeping to allow the person plenty of time to rest
  • And much more

To learn more about how our in-home care team can help someone you love enjoy the best possible quality of life, contact us online or call (866) 940-4343. As the experts in home care and dementia care in Santa Rosa and the surrounding areas, we’re here to walk with you and the person you love every step of the way with the support and resources you need.

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