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Caring for a Parent Following a Parkinson’s Diagnosis

Your elderly parent may seek medical advice if he or she experiences an uncontrollable tremor in at least one hand. He or she might also complain that moving or walking seems more difficult. These are often some of the first symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. The disease progresses differently from person to person. Due to the neurological effects, your loved one may need help accomplishing daily tasks. Here are a few ways you can care for an aging loved one who is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Educate Yourself

You need to learn about all of the aspects of Parkinson’s disease if you are planning on offering assistance to your parent after receiving the diagnosis. This way, you can be better prepared for what lies ahead and recognize when changes occur. Effective communication between you and your parent benefits both of you.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care provider Altamonte Springs, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Maintain Normalcy

Staying mentally, socially, and physically active prevents older adults from becoming depressed or feeling helpless due to their condition. Provide help as needed, but do not let your loved one become dependent on you more than is necessary.

Provide Mood Enhancement

Seniors often experience anxiety, anger, and depression upon receiving the news of a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Offer compassion, encouragement, and reassurance. When diagnosed early, seniors commonly live many years while maintaining most of their function. If needed, occupational and physical therapists often recommend exercises or activities that enable older adults to keep their flexibility.

Encourage Physical Movement

Parkinson’s commonly causes discomfort, rigidity, and stiffness. Nevertheless, healthcare providers recommend engaging in physical activities. Performing range of motion on joints by taking up tai chi or yoga may lessen the severity of the symptoms. Exercise relieves stiffness and minimizes discomfort. A warm bath with Epsom salts and a few drops of fragrant essential oil can soothe aching muscles.

Engaging in physical activity is beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s disease, but it can be overwhelming at times. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Orlando, Florida, live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Manage Pain

Some seniors with Parkinson’s experience unexplained pain along with a mysterious tremor in the early phases of the disease. The pain may occur in the muscles, bones, joints, or nerves, and the level and extent of discomfort vary from person to person. Some experience intermittent or occasional discomfort, while others report having chronic pain. Seniors with Parkinson’s must take their medications as directed, which may include analgesics and antispasmodics. Keep physicians informed of the effectiveness of medications. Ongoing physical activity and restful sleep are often helpful as well.

Address Swallowing Difficulties

As the disorder progresses, your loved one may experience difficulty swallowing. Avoid serving foods that are rough in texture or easily crumble to prevent irritating your loved one’s throat. Moist, soft foods are more easily tolerated. Encourage your loved one to eat slowly and take small bites or spoonfuls of food. Some seniors with Parkinson’s become self-conscious about drooling. In this case, they should avoid overly sweetened foods that encourage saliva production. When thin liquids present a concern, use a food thickener to prevent aspiration and choking.

When seniors develop Parkinson’s disease, their families are not always able to provide the care they need and deserve. Windermere, Florida, Parkinson’s care experts are available around the clock to help seniors maintain a high quality of life while managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s, allowing families to enjoy greater peace of mind. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (407) 232-7155 today.

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