9 Parkinson’s Disease Nursing Care Plans


Parkinson’s disease, or paralysis agitans,is a progressing neurologic movement disorder that eventually leads to disability. It occurs after the age of 50 and increases in incidence with age. The disease affects more men than women and it’s the fourth most common neurodegenerative disease, with 50,000 new cases reported each year in the United States.

Parkinson’s disease is associated with decreased levels of dopamine resulting from destruction of pigmented neuronal cells in the substantia nigra in the basal ganglia region of the brain. Neuronal pathways project from the substantia nigra to the corpus striatum, where neurotransmitters are key to the control of complex body movements. The loss of dopamine stores in areas of the brain results in more excitatory neurotransmitters than inhibitory neurotransmitters, leading to an imbalance that affects voluntary movement.

Nursing Care Plans

The nursing goals for patients with Parkinson’s Disease include improving functional mobility, maintaining independence in performing ADLs, achieving optimal bowel elimination, attaining and maintaining acceptable nutritional status, achieving effective communication, and developing positive coping mechanisms.

Here are nine (9) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for Parkinson’s Disease:

  1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
  2. Disturbed Thought Process
  3. Impaired Verbal Communication
  4. Impaired Physical Mobility
  5. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
  6. Impaired Swallowing
  7. Risk for Injury
  8. Ineffective Coping
  9. Deficient Knowledge
  10. Other Nursing Care Plans

Impaired Physical Mobility

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • dementia
  • inability to bear weight
  • poor nutrition
  • perceptual impairment
  • cognitive impairment
  • tremors
  • rigidity
  • bradykinesia

Possibly evidenced by

  • Inability to move at will
  • weakness
  • inability to bear weight
  • immobility
  • gait disturbances
  • balance and coordination deficits
  • difficulty turning
  • decreased fine and gross motor movement
  • decreased reaction time
  • incoordination
  • jerky movement
  • swaying
  • postural disturbances
  • small, shuffling gait

Desired Outcomes

  • Patient will maintain functional mobility as long as possible within limitations of disease process.
  • Patient will have few if any, complications related to immobility.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Instruct patient with techniques that initiate movement.Rocking from side to side helps to start the leg movement.
Instruct patient to get out of the chair by moving to edge of the seat, placing hands on arm supports, bending forward, and then rocking to a standing position.Parkinson disease causes rigidity tremors, bradykinesia and may result in difficulty getting out of a chair.
Teach the patient to concentrate on walking erect and use a wide-based gait.Balance may be adversely affected because of the rigidity of the arms that prevents them from swinging when walking normally. A special walking technique must be learned to offset the shuffling gait and the tendency to lean forward. A conscious effort must be made to swing the arms, raise the feet while walking, and use a heel-toe placement of the feet with long strides.
Instruct patient to perform a daily exercise that will increase muscle strength: walking, riding a stationary bike, swimming, and gardening are helpful.Exercise prevents contractures that occur when muscles are not used, improves coordination and dexterity, and reduces muscular rigidity. Adherence to exercise and walking program helps delay the progress of the disease.
Teach patient to sit in chairs with backs and arm rests; use elevated toilet seats or sidebars in the bathroom.Help with rising from a sitting position and prevent falls.
Recommend that seuxal relations be planned for when the medication is active.Parkinson’s causes bradykinesia which can impair intimacy.
Instruct patient to raise the head of the bed and make position changes slowly. Teach patient to dangle legs a few minutes before standing. Avoid dehydration and maintain adequate dietary salt.These measures reduce orthostatic hypotension.
Refer the patient to a physical therapist.May be helpful in developing an individualized exercise program and can provide instruction to the patient and caregiver on exercising safely.
Provide warm baths and massages.Helps relax muscles and relieve painful muscle spasms that accompany rigidity.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans related to neurological disorders:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
  • This website has helped me so much with nursing interventions and now is helping me come up with interventions and understanding why because of the rationale

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