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How to Help Seniors with Parkinson’s Enhance Their Quality of Life

A Parkinson’s diagnosis doesn’t mean having to sacrifice quality of life. If your elderly loved one has developed this condition, there are a few things you can do to help him or her remain happy, healthy, and comfortable while living at home. Bridgewater, NJ, Parkinson’s care professionals have a few suggestions.

Encourage Active Participation

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder, and seniors who are in the earliest stages should be given as much freedom as possible. Instead of immediately taking over all of your loved one’s everyday tasks, try to include him or her in as many activities as possible. Even in the later stages of this disease, smaller responsibilities like climbing steps independently can be a powerful victory.

Invest in Mealtime Aids

Losing the ability to eat without assistance can negatively impact your loved one’s physical and emotional wellbeing. However, there are many great mealtime aids and tools designed specifically to help seniors with Parkinson’s retain some level of independence. This includes silverware with built-up plastic handles and bowls with suction cups on the bottom. Disposable flexible straws are another great investment to reduce the amount of spills caused by tremors.

Assist with Exercise

A 2015 study conducted by the American Academy of Neurology discovered regular exercise significantly relieves Parkinson’s symptoms. Of the 231 study participants, those who exercised for at least 150 minutes a week were 70 percent less likely to fall and injure themselves. Depending on how far Parkinson’s has progressed, you might want to help your loved one carry out low-impact exercises such as walking with trekking poles, swimming, and riding a stationary bike.

Consider Psychotherapy

Parkinson’s disease does not just produce physical side effects like tremors and muscle rigidity. Seniors with this condition also have high rates of depression, anxiety, and antisocial behavior. Psychotherapy can help your loved one understand and control his or her emotions. The therapist might also suggest one or more forms of psychiatric medication to combat the effects of anti-anxiety prescriptions and antidepressants.

Professional in-home caregivers can also help seniors with Parkinson’s manage their symptoms. At Home Care Assistance, all of our live-in and part-time caregivers are expertly trained in Parkinson’s care, and we also offer specialized stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care. For more information on the senior home care Bridgewater, NJ, families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to request a no-obligation consultation.