Caring for the Elderly with Parkinson’s Disease
Elderly people with Parkinson’s disease face many challenges. The disease can make it difficult for them to walk, talk, and eat. They may also experience hallucinations and delusions. Parkinson’s can be a very isolating disease, but there are steps that caregivers can take to help elderly people with the disease stay connected to the world around them.
One of the essential things caregivers can do is to encourage social interaction. This can be done by arranging regular outings, inviting friends and family over, and scheduling activities that involve social interaction. It is also vital to provide opportunities for physical activity, as this can help to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Caregivers should also be aware of the signs of depression and anxiety, as these are common in elderly people with Parkinson’s. If these signs are present, it is important to seek professional help. With proper care, elderly people with Parkinson’s can live fulfilling lives.
American Parkinson Disease Association is the best source for more information on caring for elderly people with Parkinson’s disease.
Keep reading to learn more about caring for elderly people with Parkinson’s disease.
What is Parkinson’s disease, and what are some of its symptoms?
A progressive disease such as Parkinson’s is a brain disorder that affects movement. The main symptoms are tremors, uncontrollable shaking, stiffness in the arms and legs, and slow movement. Parkinson’s disease is caused when there is a loss of cells in those parts of the brain that control movement.
This cell loss is linked to a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine helps send signals from the brain to the muscles telling them to move. When dopamine levels drop, it can cause problems with movement. There is no cure, but treatments can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Symptoms typically develop slowly over time and can vary from person to person. Early symptoms may be so mild that they’re barely noticeable. Parkinson’s disease dementia and Lewy body dementia are two types of dementia that are commonly found in elderly people with Parkinson’s.
In some cases, people may not realize they have the condition until years after the onset of symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms can become more severe, including problems with balance, speech, and swallowing. People with Parkinson’s disease may also experience depression and anxiety. Treatment for Parkinson’s disease focuses on reducing symptoms and improving quality of life.
Although there is not currently a cure, groups such as the Parkinson’s Foundation are working hard to promote breakthroughs in medications and treatments. A person with Parkinson’s may have difficulty taking care of themselves and doing things like brushing their teeth, shaving, or hair care as their motor symptoms become worse.
Medications can be used to control tremors and other movement problems associated with the condition. Physical therapy and occupational therapy can help people maintain strength, flexibility, and balance. In some cases, surgery may be a good option to treat Parkinson’s disease.
How can you care for an elderly loved one who has Parkinson’s disease?
Anyone who has a loved one with Parkinson’s disease knows that the road to treatment and care can be a long and difficult one. There is no single silver bullet for the condition, and managing it often requires a multifaceted approach. However, there are some things that you can do to help your elderly loved one manage their condition and live as full and fulfilling a life as possible.
What are some helpful tips for making life easier for them both at home and out in the community?
Understand the disease. Learning as much as you can about Parkinson’s will help you understand your loved one’s condition better and how it affects their daily life. This knowledge will also enable you to provide more effective care.
Be patient and understanding. Many seniors with Parkinson’s find that the disease takes a toll on their emotional well-being and also their own health. It’s important to be patient with your loved one and to offer support and understanding. Remember all the medical appointments, therapies, and treatments can be exhausting for them.
Help with activities of daily living. Many seniors with Parkinson’s need assistance with activities like bathing, dressing, and eating. If you’re able, pitch in and help out where needed. You might also want to consider hiring professional in-home care providers to help with these tasks.
Encourage exercise. Exercise is important for people of all ages, but it’s especially beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s. Exercise can help improve mobility, flexibility, and strength. It can help reduce stress and anxiety levels as well. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about safe and appropriate exercises for them to do at home or in a senior fitness class.
Keep communication open. As your loved one’s caregiver, you’ll need to stay in close communication with other family members, friends, family caregivers, and healthcare professionals involved in their care. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone knows what needs to be done to best support your loved one living with Parkinson’s disease.
What kinds of activities can you do together to keep them stimulated and engaged mentally and physically?
Both the person with PD and their care partner need to communicate openly about what they are experiencing on a day-to-day basis, exercise patience and talk frequently. Here are some activities that you and your senior can do to keep them stimulated and engaged mentally and physically during Parkinson’s disease:
- Look at old photo albums together and reminisce about past memories. This is a great way to stimulate their mind and connect on a deep level.
- Go for walks. Getting some fresh air and exercise is important for everyone, but especially for those with Parkinson’s. Walking can help to improve their flexibility and mobility.
- Play word games or solve puzzles. These activities can help to improve their cognitive function and delay the onset of dementia.
- Do some handwriting exercises. Research has shown that handwriting can help to improve motor skills in those with Parkinson’s. Doing some simple exercises together can be beneficial for both of you.
- Make a scrapbook. This is a great way to stimulate their creative side while also providing a memory-keeping activity that they can look back on in the future.
- Go out to eat. Eating out can be a great way to socialize and enjoy some quality time together. Just be sure to choose a restaurant that is accommodating to your loved one’s needs.
- Attend a senior fitness class. Getting some exercise is important for seniors with Parkinson’s, but it can also be fun! Attending a senior fitness class together can be a great way to get some exercise while also bonding with each other.
- Go dancing. Dancing is a great way to get some exercise while also having fun. It’s also been shown to improve motor skills in those with Parkinson’s.
How can you cope with the stress of caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease?
Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease can be a stressful and difficult experience. However, there are many things you can try to help ease the stress and make the experience more manageable. Here are four tips for coping with the stress of caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease:
Educate yourself about the disease.
The more you understand about the disease, the better equipped you will be to care for your loved one. Read up on the latest information about Parkinson’s disease and its treatment. This will help you to understand the changes the senior is going through and how best to support them.
Seek out support from others.
It can be helpful to talk to others who are in similar situations. There are plenty of online forums and support groups dedicated to caregivers of people with Parkinson’s disease. Connecting with others who understand what you’re going through can make a world of difference.
Find creative ways to relax and de-stress.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some time for yourself to relax and de-stress. This might involve taking a hot bath, listening to calming music, or doing some deep breathing exercises. Taking some time out for yourself will help you to recharge and be better prepared to handle the challenges of caregiving.
Make sure to take care of yourself physically and emotionally.
Caring for a loved senior with Parkinson’s disease can be demanding both physically and emotionally. Make sure to take care of yourself by eating well, sleeping well, and exercising regularly. It’s also important to find healthy outlets for your emotions, such as talking to a therapist or joining a support group. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better able to care for your loved one.
The Club: Compassionate Care For Those With Parkinson’s Disease
At The Club at Boynton Beach, care for persons with Parkinson’s Disease is our top priority. Our approach is based on the latest research and best practices in the field. We are happy to provide the best care possible and to make sure that each and every one of our residents feels like they are part of a family.
We offer a lot of services and amenities for our residents, all of which are designed to help make their lives as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. We also offer a variety of social and recreational activities so that our residents can stay active and engaged.
Get in touch today to discover more about our top-notch care and the incredible services we offer to make life comfortable for your loved one.