Understanding the Stages of Parkinson’s Disease

More common in men, and more prevalent than muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined, Parkinson’s disease impacts approximately 7 – 10 million people around the world, with another 600,000 Americans diagnosed each year. And although each individual’s experience with the disease varies in severity, there are five stages of advancement that are customary for all. In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Carolina Hearts Home Care, serving Aberdeen, Raeford, Rockingham, and the surrounding areas, shares the following information.

What Are the Stages of Parkinson’s Disease?

Stage 1: Known as early-stage Parkinson’s, during the course of this stage a person generally has only mild symptoms that may appear as follows:

  • Symptoms are troublesome, but not crippling
  • Friends and family can usually pick up on changes in the person’s posture, balance, and facial expressions
  • Uncontrolled tremors or shaking in one limb may be detected
  • Symptoms are on just one side of the body

Stage 2: Throughout the second stage of Parkinson’s, inability to perform normal physical tasks may become more noticeable:

  • Symptoms will affect both sides of the body
  • Posture is impacted
  • The person has minimal disability, and frequently experiences ambulatory or balance difficulties

Stage 3: This stage is viewed as moderate Parkinson’s disease, and more significant impairment will begin to manifest:

  • There is general dysfunction that is moderately severe
  • There is a considerable slowing of the body movements
  • Early equilibrium impairment may lead to the inability to walk straight or stand

Stage 4: Stage four signifies advanced Parkinson’s disease and is accompanied by severe symptoms:

  • Tremors may diminish or disappear for unknown reasons during this time
  • The individual is unable to perform daily tasks and likely cannot live alone
  • Rigidity and bradykinesia, or slow movements are often obvious

Stage 5: The final stage of the disease usually takes over the patient’s physical movements:

  • One-on-one care is necessary
  • The individual commonly experiences a general decline in vitality and strength of the body and mind
  • The person may not be able to walk or stand


Carolina Hearts Home Care’s in-home care providers are fully trained in all aspects of senior home care, and can assist people with Parkinson’s and other conditions of aging to live fuller, more comfortable and independent lives, right at home. Whether it’s help with daily personal care, transportation and accompaniment to doctors’ appointments or to run errands, take care of light housekeeping and meal preparation, or just a friendly companion to brighten up the day, our senior care services are personalized to each person’s needs and preferences. Call us any time to learn more at 1-855-277-2005.