Senior Resources

Five Stages of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that currently does not have a cure. This past month, Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we have had the opportunity to witness our community rally to help create awareness around this disease. We are optimistic that there will be a cure for PD one day, and we are dedicated to […]
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Grandparents at Holidays

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that currently does not have a cure. This past month, Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we have had the opportunity to witness our community rally to help create awareness around this disease. We are optimistic that there will be a cure for PD one day, and we are dedicated to spreading awareness about it. 

Many doctors who diagnose and study Parkinson’s Disease rely on the Hoehn and Yahr rating scale to classify the severity of symptoms. This scale is broken down into five stages, which are explained below. This diagnostic tool helps doctors navigate the progression of PD and recommend the best treatments to families as they go.

Stage 1 – MILD

In stage 1, it can be hard to see distinct differences in behavior. However, common early symptoms of PD are tremors or general difficulty in movement on one side of the body.

Stage 2 – MODERATE

Stage 2 is more noticeable than Stage 1. Stiffness, tremors, and a change in facial expressions are all seen now. Patients in stage 2 of PD are still able to balance. PD may inhibit the speed at which they walk or complete a task, but balance is unimpaired.

Stage 3 – MIDDLE

During stage 3, a patient will experience the same symptoms as stage 2. However, their balance begins to deteriorate, making falls more common. 

Stage 4 – DEPENDANT

By stage 4, simple daily tasks and all transfers will require assistance. At this point, a person with PD cannot live alone due to safety. It is often difficult to determine when this time comes. Generally, if you are worried about your loved one taking a fall just from walking unassisted, they should not be left alone.

Stage 5 – ADVANCED

Stage 5 is considered the most advanced stage of PD. Patients will experience stiffness in their legs, making standing hard without assistance. Up to 50 percent of people in stages 4 and 5 experience confusion, hallucinations, and delusions, and between 50-80% of patients with PD in stage 5 will experience dementia. (Alzheimer’s Association).

Get Involved

There is still time to get involved in your local community this month. Check out ways to get involved below:

  • NeuroChallange Cause for Hope Gala – Saturday, Apr 20, 2024
    • Cause 4 Hope raises funds needed to provide year-round education, therapeutic and support programs and one-to-one care advising for people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers. Because of you, and generous donors like you, nearly 3,000 families receive support from Neuro Challenge every year to help them navigate their Parkinson’s journey.
  • Tampa Bay Moving Day- Saturday, April 27, 2024
    • Moving Day is a national fundraising walk event hosted by Parkinson’s Foundation. These annual walks occur across the country throughout April and May. Moving Day events include a walking course, a kid’s area, a caregivers relaxation tent, and a pavilion with yoga, dance, and Tai Chi. The goal is to encourage activities that help manage Parkinson’s symptoms and spread awareness. These events unite people to celebrate the movement and raise funds to beat this disease. Visit movingdaywalk.org for more details and to find an event near you. 


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