Statistics indicate that up to 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed each year. Many seniors with Parkinson’s are able to remain at home because family members choose to act as caregivers for their older loved ones. Family caregivers can prepare for what lies ahead by following the guidelines below.
Research Parkinson’s on the Internet, and read articles and books about your loved one’s disease. Attend medical appointments with your loved one. Ask questions to learn about how the disorder progresses and common symptoms that may emerge. However, be aware the disease progresses differently for each individual. The number and intensity of symptoms also vary. Be informed about the medications and treatments recommended for seniors with Parkinson’s. Create a database of your loved one’s medications and include the dosages, the times they need to be taken, and possible adverse effects. The database can also be an ideal location to store notes concerning new symptoms or other changes.
Create a Care Network
Gather family members to discuss various aspects of your loved one’s care. Discuss financial concerns, insurance coverage, medical bills, and assets. Determine if other family members might be willing to run errands or help with household or property chores, such as addressing potential hazards in the home to ensure your loved one’s safety. Find out which family members will be able to step in for the primary caregiver if he or she needs time off because of illness, an emergency, or simply the need for a break.
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 at-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 serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
Nurture Your Relationship with Your Loved One
As the disease progresses and the younger family member becomes the caregiver, the familiar family roles change. Keep the lines of communication open to address any disagreements or misunderstandings that may arise. Allowing negative thoughts and emotions to build leads to stress, depression, and caregiver burnout. Keep in mind that your loved one isn’t responsible for how Parkinson’s is affecting him or her physically or mentally. Be supportive, compassionate, and understanding. Treat your loved one with dignity and respect. Listen to his or her concerns, and allow him or her to have choices and make decisions.
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 live-in care. Wellesley seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Seniors with Parkinson’s commonly experience stiffness and tremors. However, engaging in physical activity as tolerated boosts cardiovascular function and circulation, which nourishes nerve cells. Exercise also warms the muscles and diminishes stiffness. Simply taking regular walks can enable a senior with Parkinson’s to maintain flexibility and balance longer. Other recommended forms of activity include tai chi, swimming, water aerobics, and bicycling.
Address Dietary Needs
A diet rich in brightly colored fruits and vegetables supplies much-needed vitamins and minerals along with antioxidant compounds that guard against cell damage. Halibut, salmon, tuna, oysters, kidney beans, and olive oil provide omega-3 fatty acids that can help seniors prevent dementia. Vitamin D has been shown to slow Parkinson’s progression, so consuming vitamin D–fortified dairy products and being out in the sunshine are also advised.
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 Wellesley homecare services 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 Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional at-home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (781) 239-0060.