7 Things Older Adults Should Do When Diagnosed with Parkinson’s

By Lutgarda Mariano, 9:00 am on

When your senior loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you may need to provide him or her with extra care. Although it is a good idea to get a second opinion about the diagnosis, caring for your loved one may still be overwhelming at times.

Victoria elderly care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Here are some tips to help ease the diagnosis for you and your elderly loved one. 

1. Do Some Research 

Parkinson’s disease progresses differently for everyone. Seniors and their family caregivers need to educate themselves about the symptoms associated with the disease so they know what to look out for in the long term. Your loved one should stay updated on current treatments, breakthroughs, and other information pertaining to Parkinson’s.

2. Address Emotional Health Concerns

As a family caregiver, you will likely spend a great deal of time with your senior loved one, so be mindful about his or her moods. Speak with your loved one’s doctor if you notice signs of anxiety or depression. Although depression is a natural response for individuals with Parkinson’s, this feeling can also be triggered by changes in the brain. Therefore, a doctor can help determine what is causing the depression and ways to treat it. 

3. Re-Evaluate the Diet 

Your loved one will need to maintain his or her energy, and eating a well-balanced diet can help. Seniors with Parkinson’s disease experience low bone mineral density and are prone to falling, which could lead to more severe issues. Your loved one will need to eat foods with plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Be sure his or her diet includes plenty of grains, vegetables, meats, beans, and dairy products.

4. Develop an Exercise Routine

Exercise can enhance your loved one’s balance, grip strength, and motor coordination. A good exercise routine can also help with tremors and flexibility. Some appropriate exercises your loved one can try include yoga, biking, and walking on a treadmill. However, you should always check with the doctor to determine what exercises are safe, in regards to the different stages of Parkinson’s.

Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Victoria, BC, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. 

5. Go To a Support Group

A Parkinson’s diagnosis may be difficult for your loved one to accept, but joining a support group could be an effective way for him or her to manage the daily realities of the disease. Your loved one can go to various Parkinson’s support groups, and there are also support groups for caregivers where you can speak with others, compare notes, and share caregiving tips.

6. Attend Regular Doctor Visits

Your loved one will need to develop a good relationship with his or her primary physician. The doctor can keep you and your loved one informed of the progression of the disease and available treatments and also provide information pertaining to side effects of medications, physical changes you can expect, and therapies that may be beneficial.

7. Stay Organized

To prevent your loved one from becoming too stressed, create a calendar of daily activities and responsibilities, including meal times, exercise routines, recreational activities, and doctor visits. This calendar can also be beneficial to you and other caregivers. This way, you can stay organized and eliminate the stress that accompanies caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s.

When seniors develop Parkinson’s disease, their families are not always able to provide they care they need and deserve. Victoria, BC, 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. If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, reach out to Home Care Assistance at (250) 592-4881 today.

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