Parkinson’s disease has many physical symptoms, ranging from tremors to a loss of balance. The social impact of the condition may be less visible, but it’s still an important consideration. Ahead, learn about the ways Parkinson’s affects socialization and the best strategies for maintaining a healthy social life while living with the disease.
As Parkinson’s progresses, muscle control diminishes, and all types of movements, including walking, talking, and tasks that require motor coordination, become more difficult. As a result, basic daily activities also become more difficult. Seniors with Parkinson’s may have a challenging time putting away the groceries, brushing their teeth, or taking their dog for a walk. Social activities that require too much effort may fall by the wayside. To counteract this effect, devise ways for your senior loved one to participate in favorite social activities. Many artistic activities, such as singing and dancing, can be done in a social environment and are known for being beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s.
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Jefferson County Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
Changes in Social Roles
When everyday activities become a burden, people with Parkinson’s may need assistance throughout the day. As daily help becomes a necessity, some seniors feel ashamed of their inability to care for themselves. They may feel unable to manage the shift in their social role from someone who cares for others to someone who requires daily care. If these negative feelings accumulate, your loved one may withdraw from friends and family members. To help a loved one who seems depressed or isolated due to changing social roles, provide regular opportunities to feel self-sufficient. Instead of helping your loved one at the first sign of a challenge, be patient and allow him or her to perform tasks at a comfortable pace. Your loved one then has the chance to use his or her abilities and muscles, which may help with maintaining functionality in the long run.
One way you can help your loved one remain social is to hire an in-home caregiver. Homecare experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Parkinson’s impacts speech, making the voice sound slurred, unsteady, or quiet. Because the disease negatively impacts muscle control, seniors with Parkinson’s may not be able to produce the desired facial expressions, which might make them wary of talking to people, especially those they aren’t familiar with. To enhance communication abilities, your loved one can seek assistance from a speech and language therapist who can assist with vocal control. You can help by being patient when your loved one speaks. Seniors may feel more comfortable verbalizing their ideas if they have enough time to collect their thoughts and aren’t interrupted as they speak.
Feelings of Isolation
As Parkinson’s progresses, many seniors feel isolated. No matter how empathetic their caregivers are, sometimes seniors need to interact with people who know exactly what they’re going through. You can help your loved one feel less alone by searching for Parkinson’s support groups in the area. Your loved one may also benefit from group activities designed specifically for seniors with Parkinson’s.
Caring for an older adult with Parkinson’s disease can be challenging at times. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Jefferson County, CO, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To speak with one of our dedicated Care Managers, please give us a call today at (303) 987-5992.