Home Care in Westfield NJ
March is Essential Tremor Awareness Month. In that spirit, here’s a basic definition of the condition and how it can be managed:
Essential tremor, also known as ET, benign tremor, familiar tremor, and shaky hand syndrome, can be one of the most frustrating and disheartening disorders to deal with. This condition can make it very difficult to eat, write, or perform many other basic functions that we take for granted.
The symptoms of ET can be surprising. We often think of ET in terms of tremors affecting the hands, and it’s true that most who suffer with ET have a hard time doing delicate work, whether that means buttoning a shirt, putting toothpaste on a brush or drawing a straight line. But, even in milder cases, ET can affect the mouth, leading to the inability to stop the tongue from shaking. Emotional, physical and mental stress can compound the problem, worsening the effects.
ET is sometimes mistaken for Parkinson’s disease. Although an ET tremor does not point to Parkinson’s, the condition can occur simultaneously with Parkinson’s so it does not mean that the client is in the clear for Parkinson’s disease. In Parkinson’s, the loss of sense of smell is common, but has also been reported in ET cases. It can be difficult to tell the two conditions apart for anyone who is not specifically trained in that department.
The cause of ET is not clear. Genetics may play a role, as roughly one half of ET cases are due to genetic mutation. The genes that lead to ET have not been identified, but there is strong evidence that the condition may be inherited in many cases.
ET can be disabling in the more extreme cases, and many who live with the condition experience severe difficulty in daily activities, from bathing and dressing to cooking and cleaning. For some, however, ET will never manifest beyond mild symptoms and occasional difficulty. The condition does not seem to be linked with any mental disorder and is thought to be mono-symptomatic. In other words, essential tremors are just that: tremors, and not necessarily symptomatic of a more severe condition.
Treatment is assigned based on severity of symptoms. For some suffering with ET, the symptoms can be significantly reduced by avoiding caffeine and getting a good night’s sleep. For more severe symptoms, beta blockers may be used along with other medications like clozapine. When medication is not enough, or not an option, occupational therapy can help. A new treatment method, High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, also shows promise. ET can be a devastating disorder, but in many cases, it is manageable.
More information can be found at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/movement_disorders/conditions/essential_tremor.html
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care services in Westfield, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at (908-418-4299).
Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.