More than 100,000 Canadians are currently living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a figure expected to significantly increase by 2031, according to Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario. While there are many factors that can play a role in the development of PD, there are some ways seniors may be able to reduce their Parkinson’s disease risk. Here are six of them.
1. Eat Healthy
Nutrient-rich foods help the brain function well, which may offset the changes in the brain that could lead to Parkinson’s disease in older adults. Many nutrient-rich foods also contain cell-protecting antioxidants. A Mediterranean diet is often recommended to provide the nutrients that may minimize PD risk. This diet includes:
• Chicken, fish rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and other sources of lean protein
• Fresh fruits and veggies
• Whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds
Preparing nutritious meals is often a challenging task for many seniors. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
2. Get More Vitamin D
Various studies suggest people with Parkinson’s have lower levels of vitamin D. Sunshine is a reliable source of vitamin D, but exposure should be limited to about 15–30 minutes per day to minimize the risks associated with too much sun exposure. Dietary sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, fortified foods, mushrooms, and fatty fish like mackerel and tuna.
3. Increase Folic Acid Intake
Instrumental in the formation of new cells, folic acid is a type of B vitamin, and having a deficiency of this nutrient is believed to be related to the development of Parkinson’s disease. It’s found in greater amounts in leafy green veggies, avocados, legumes, and lentils. It’s also available in supplement form for seniors who aren’t able to get enough folic acid through diet alone.
4. Reduce Inflammation
It’s believed inflammation contributes to the changes in the brain related to the development of Parkinson’s disease, which is why seniors may be able to reduce their PD risk by taking steps to keep inflammation at bay as much as possible. Ways older adults may be able to accomplish this goal include:
• Consuming foods, beverages, and spices with natural anti-inflammatory qualities, including whole grains, berries, green tea, and turmeric
• Addressing underlying chronic conditions that could contribute to inflammation
• Keeping stress under control
5. Do Regular Aerobic Exercise
Activities such as walking, swimming, cycling, and doing low-impact aerobic workouts boost circulation, keep joints and muscles healthy, and promote better brain health. Regular exercise of this nature can also reduce fatigue and make it easier for seniors to get more productive sleep, which further helps with physical and mental health and enhances the body’s natural healing and cell-protecting capabilities.
Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Victoria home care service professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
6. Lower Stress & Anxiety
Physiological stress is considered a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. This type of stress has the potential to affect the brain and make it more susceptible to conditions such as PD. Seniors may benefit from an approach to stress management that involves:
• Yoga and similar disciplines that promote mind-body relaxation
• Deep breathing, meditation, and similar relaxation techniques
• Cognitive behavioral therapy to change mental focus
• Appropriate medications or therapies
Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they’ll likely need assistance from family members or other caregivers to do so safely. For many seniors in Victoria, BC, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (250) 592-4881 today.