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Parkinson’s Disease: Treatment & Care

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Parkinson’s is a disorder of the central nervous system, and seniors can manage it by making healthy lifestyle choices. Effective treatment can protect brain cells and prevent a decrease in dopamine production. Here are some tips you can use when providing treatment to a senior loved one with Parkinson’s disease.

Physical Activities & Exercises

Staying physically active can help your loved one maintain balance and mobility while performing daily activities. Your loved one can increase flexibility by doing tai chi, walking, swimming, dancing, and stretching. Exercise is an excellent treatment for Parkinson’s because it increases coordination and lowers the risk of depression, which is common in seniors with this disorder. It’s always a good idea to speak with your loved one’s primary care physician before creating an exercise routine. The doctor can give you a list of activities and exercises to choose from or perhaps suggest physical therapy.

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 senior home care. 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.

Low-Protein Diet

Foods high in protein can disrupt the body’s ability to absorb Parkinson’s medication. When this happens, symptoms associated with the disorder can worsen, including constipation and tremors. However, following a low-protein diet and maintaining other healthy habits can increase the effectiveness of prescriptions. In addition, your loved one should never take medicine on an empty stomach, as this prevents foods from properly absorbing the medications.

Some of the foods and beverages seniors with Parkinson’s should avoid are:

  • Soy sauce
  • Tofu
  • Dried meats
  • Aged cheese
  • Sauerkraut
  • Beer

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. Santa Rosa seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Home Improvements

A safe and friendly environment can boost mood and reduce stress, which is why you should consider making changes to the home based on your loved one’s current abilities. If your loved one can navigate the home with ease, his or her brain and motor functioning may increase. For example, you can add handrails, remove clutter, rearrange the furniture, install toilet extensions, and remove floor coverings that prevent your loved one from walking on smooth surfaces. Speak with your loved one’s physical therapist about other inexpensive home improvements you can make to the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. The home improvements should make independent living more achievable for your parent.

Good Sleep Hygiene

The medicines seniors with Parkinson’s take can negatively impact their sleep routines. Poor sleep prevents the body from clearing the brain of toxins that impact movements and cognitive abilities. Develop a sleeping schedule for your loved one. Following this routine could reduce restless legs syndrome. Getting plenty of rest could enhance your loved one’s mood and increase his or her energy levels, leading to more movement and reducing the severity of problems associated with Parkinson’s disease, such as nightmares, daytime sleepiness, and excessive nighttime urination.

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 Santa Rosa in-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. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (707) 843.4368.