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Aging in Place for Seniors with Parkinson’s

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 8:00 am on

Parkinson’s disease presents many challenges for seniors and their loved ones. Yet, understandably, many seniors wish to stay in their own home as long as possible. As a Sonoma County home care provider, it’s our mission to help seniors age in place. So while Parkinson’s can present many difficulties over time, especially when it comes to mobility, with the proper precautions, continuing to enjoy one’s golden years at home is still a viable option. Here are a few important steps that you can take to help make your loved one’s home as safe as possible.

Living Environment

When updating your loved one’s home environment, start by considering physical and cognitive challenges that may make it difficult to get around spaces like kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms. For seniors with Parkinson’s, this often includes making room within commonly used spaces to facilitate movements. As a general rule, about 5 feet of space is needed between pieces of furniture to allow a wheelchair to turn around without bumping into objects. Remove the following obstacles to make movement easier:

  • Floor rugs
  • Standing lamps
  • Home decorations (especially vases or other breakables)

Bathrooms

Personal grooming is a common challenge your loved one is likely to face at some point when coping with Parkinson’s disease. In order to give your senior loved one as much dignity and independence as possible, make bathrooms more convenient. This often includes updating door knobs (with door pulls or utility handles) for easier gripping, and placing grab bars by toilets, sinks and bathtubs. You may also want to consider a personal caregiver who can assist with personal care needs and ensure safety. While live-in care is an option, caregivers can also provide Sonoma County hourly care for help with personal grooming routines in the morning or evening.

Aging in Place Considerations

Some seniors with Parkinson’s may not be willing or able to acknowledge any difficulties with their daily living routines. Consider taking notes or making periodic observations yourself to determine if there are adjustments you can make to remove any obstacles your loved one may encounter throughout their day. The following are also a few other aging in place considerations:

  • Removing or organizing electrical cords
  • Raised toilet seats (to make sitting and standing easier)
  • Smoke detectors (located near doorways and bedrooms)
  • Stair lifts (to reduce the risk of injury)
  • Clearly labeled medications

If your aging parent or loved one is living with Parkinson’s and you feel that additional assistance and care could ensure their safety and quality of life, reach out to Home Care Assistance Sonoma County today. We specialize in Parkinson’s home care in Sonoma County and have a team of highly trained and experienced caregivers available to assist on a part-time or live-in basis. Get to know more about our services and our Care Team by calling 707-943-4368 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!