How to Care for a Person with Parkinson’s Disease

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Caring for a Loved One with Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease can develop when seniors are in their 50s or 60s and inhibit many of their abilities, such as walking, talking, and eating. There’s no cure for Parkinson’s, and it progresses over time. However, there are lifestyle choices that can slow the progression and boost quality of life. Here are a few things you can do as a family caregiver to provide adequate care to an aging loved one with Parkinson’s. 

Make Home Improvements

Dopamine is a brain neurotransmitter that controls movement in the body. Parkinson’s can reduce dopamine and negatively impact walking abilities, increasing the risk of freezing and falling. 

Due to the mobility impairment associated with Parkinson’s, you’ll need to make improvements to your loved one’s home that keep him or her comfortable and reduce the risk of falls. Start small by getting rid of cords, throw rugs, and other objects on the floor that prevent clear pathways. Keep the toilet seats elevated in the bathroom, and add nonslip mats to the shower and tub. Invest in railings in the hallways, and add chairs or beds that are easy to get in and out of. 

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 home care service. Families trust Assisting Hands Home Care Reston to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Enhance Communication

The effects of Parkinson’s vary from person to person, but most seniors have communication challenges that impact speech and comprehension. Effective communication can lead to better care management and increase socialization. 

If speaking is too difficult for your parent, try using notes, communication boards, text messages, and emotion cards. You should also sign your loved one up for speech therapy if it’s covered by his or her insurance or you have the extra money for the service. 

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

Promote Support Groups

The day-to-day realities of Parkinson’s can be difficult to handle at times. Since the symptoms associated with the disease are visible and invasive, the risk of depression increases. Depression can cause the disease to progress and decrease quality of life. 

Find ways to boost your loved one’s mood, such as having him or her join a support group for aging adults with Parkinson’s. The group members can make your loved one feel less alone and provide strategies for handling the disease. Ask your parent’s primary care physician for information on Parkinson’s societies in the community. 

Encourage a Healthy Diet

As the disease progresses, seniors may lose control of their mouth and throat muscles, making it difficult to chew, and consuming solid foods may be a challenge. These swallowing problems can put your loved one at higher risk for developing pneumonia due to inhaling stomach contents or fluid into the lungs. 

Make chewing and swallowing easier for your loved one by promoting a diet that includes soft foods. You should also cut solid foods into smaller pieces, help your loved one avoid eating more than one teaspoon of food at a time, and encourage him or her to sit upright during meals. 

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 Assisting Hands Home Care, a Reston 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. Call 703-556-8983 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.