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Treating Parkinson’s: A Guide for Family Caregivers

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Parkinson’s disease may develop in older adults at various points in life. The way the disorder affects seniors is as different as the individuals themselves. However, Parkinson’s symptoms do progress, which necessitates the assistance of a caregiver at some point. Having a guide for reference provides a little enlightenment as to what lies ahead.

Information

When planning to care for a senior loved one diagnosed with Parkinson’s, avail yourself of the wealth of information available. Learn the underlying cause of the disorder and the medical interventions used to offer relief from its symptoms. Familiarize yourself with the physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms that appear as the disease progresses, and learn about the techniques needed to manage each development. The main objective is to ensure your loved one enjoys an optimal quality of life.

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable homecare services. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Care Team

Before the symptoms progress dramatically, sit down with the rest of the family and discuss how each member might contribute to your parent’s care. Some may volunteer to run errands, others might be willing to attend healthcare appointments, and one or two family members may have the ability to step in and provide daily assistance should the primary caregiver become ill, have an emergency, or simply need to take a break. Having a team encourages ongoing communication among family members.

Diet

Seniors with Parkinson’s must maintain a healthy diet that provides the right nutrients while preventing unhealthy weight gain. Meals should consist of an abundance of fruits and vegetables. In addition to providing vitamins and minerals, produce contains a wealth of antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage. Protein is necessary to provide the fuel needed for cell, connective tissue, and muscle regeneration. However, too much protein interferes with the ability of dopamine supplements to alleviate symptoms. Thus, seniors may need to limit their protein intake to a specific time of day. As Parkinson’s progresses, seniors often demonstrate swallowing difficulty. The texture and consistency of foods must then be altered to make eating easier.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Lakewood seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Exercise

Seniors with Parkinson’s need to exercise regularly. The regimen must include exercises that enhance flexibility while increasing strength and balance. Cycling, swimming, and walking are some of the activities recommended for boosting strength and endurance. Tai chi is an ideal activity that enables seniors with Parkinson’s to maintain balance.

Professional Consultations

Occupational and physical therapists often customize workout schedules for older adults with Parkinson’s to manage the symptoms while increasing function and mobility. However, it’s not unusual for the disease process to cause fatigue and overheating during physical activity. Recognize the symptoms and encourage your loved one to take breaks as needed. In time, seniors with Parkinson’s experience rigidity, stiffness, slowed movements, and balance and walking difficulties. Therapists can help caregivers better understand the symptoms and how to help their loved ones manage them.

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Lakewood at-home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized Parkinson’s home care plan for your loved one, call (303) 987-5992 today.