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4 Steps Caregivers Can Take to Help Seniors Manage Parkinson’s

By Beth Brown, 9:00 am on

After receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis, seniors with the disease usually have a more difficult time carrying out day-to-day activities. As a result, it’s often up to family caregivers to help their aging loved ones remain safe and comfortable while living at home. Palm Beach, FL, Parkinson’s care discuss 4 ways you can help your loved one manage Parkinson’s and enjoy a higher quality of life.

1. Encourage Physical Activity

Exercise, especially dancing and yoga, can increase balance, coordination, and flexibility in seniors with Parkinson’s disease. Encouraging your loved one to join a dance or exercise class can also help him or her stay socially engaged and alleviate depression, which is common after receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Dance for PD and Let Your Yoga Dance are 2 programs that incorporate dance, yoga, and breathing techniques as a way to keep seniors with Parkinson’s moving and socializing.

2. Promote Independence

Some of the most challenging aspects of managing Parkinson’s are the physical limitations created by the disease. Your loved one may feel angry or resentful at having to rely on others to help him or her accomplish the basic activities of daily living. You can help your loved one by adapting his or her routine and environment and using assistive aids to allow for as much independence as possible. For example, purchasing clothes that zip, fasten with Velcro, or pull over the head can make it easier for your loved one to get dressed independently.

3. Encourage a Healthy Diet and Hydration

Parkinson’s disease can slow the movement of the colon, which can lead to constipation. Seniors with Parkinson’s are also more susceptible to thinning bones. As a result, it is important for your loved one to drink plenty of fluids and eat a diet high in fiber and bone-building nutrients like calcium and vitamins D and K.

4. Watch for Signs of Depression

According to the National Parkinson Foundation, depression and anxiety are more common among seniors with Parkinson’s than those with other chronic health conditions. If you notice your loved one is withdrawing from other people, reducing his or her physical activity, or not enjoying his or her normal activities, encourage him or her to see a doctor as soon as possible. Medications, counseling, and support groups can all be helpful in overcoming depression.

Families often do not have the time and expertise to provide their loved ones with the Parkinson’s care they need. Turn to Home Care Assistance for trusted Parkinson’s care in Palm Beach. Our caregivers can assist with mobility, encourage a nutritious diet and regular exercise regimen, and help with tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. To learn more about the elder care Palm Beach, FL, seniors count on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 561.429.8292 today.