Local Support including in home care can help those with Parkinson’s.
“It’s the best thing I’ve done in 50 years,” says Chris Buscher, talking about how he’s helping hundreds of San Diego families dealing with Parkinson’s Disease.
“It’s all about managing the disease,” he says.
At Home Nursing Care began helping our first client with the disease back in 2011, a San Marcos man who started needing care when he lost the ability to drive. The client started with part time care for years, and only needed to increase home care hours to full time care 10 years after his diagnosis.
Buscher spent 50 years in the non-profit world before moving to San Diego with his wife fifteen years ago. He became interested in Parkinson’s when he noticed a neighbor was having trouble walking.
“I really didn’t know what it was, typically Michael J Fox or Mohammed Ali, but I’d never met anyone who actually had Parkinson’s.”
That friend asked Buscher to help the local association, so he did. He came out of retirement to be the only staff member, and his wife is the chief volunteer. As executive director, Buscher oversees the many activities of the local charity, including education, outreach, fundraising and support groups.
Approximately half a million American’s are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and it’s prevalent in about 1% of the population above 60 years. Volunteers with the local association field hundreds of calls from people newly diagnosed.
“Many times, people are extremely upset, then angry, then hostile, they’re depressed, and they think that they are going to die from the disease,” Buscher explains.
But the disease alone is typically not fatal. It’s defined as a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often including tremors. Nerve cell damage in the brain causes dopamine levels to drop, leading to the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Many of the symptoms can be mitigated by medication and physical exercise.
“What we try to do immediately is turn it around, this is a new challenge, look at it as an opportunity, to step up and be very positive, it’s a new journey.”
At Home Nursing Care supports the local Parkinson’s Association through sponsorships of the annual Walks and golf tournament.
“After working for more than a decade with many people who are living with Parkinson’s, I feel it’s important to show our support for people affected, by giving our time and sponsorship funds,” says Lauren Reynolds, Founder/Administrator of At Home Nursing Care. She opened the agency back in 2010 and has served more than 500 local families since.
The Parkinson’s Association strives to promote the importance of exercise to replace dopamine in the brain, reflecting on the need to keep moving.
They also host a durable medical equipment exchange, where clients can get almost new equipment to use and then trade it back when they are finished.
Above all, the mission of the Parkinson’s Association is to show people that Parkinson’s disease can be managed.
“It’s not the end of the world, typically no one dies from Parkinson’s, the most important part is to try to be upbeat, and be positive, and then to learn and educate yourself about all the resources available to help someone.”
For more information, visit parkinsonsassociation.org.
At Home Nursing Care provides caregiving, nursing and care management services to clients affected by Parkinson’s. Care is available hourly, daily or around the clock. Give us a call at 760-634-8000 to learn more.