If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you’ll likely want to learn as much about the disease as possible so you can provide him or her with high-quality care. Your loved one’s doctor can be a great resource during this journey, but there are a few details about the disease that might be overlooked at a doctor’s appointment.
Physical Therapy Can Alleviate Symptoms
Accoring to the National Parkinson Foundation, physical therapy can alleviate some of the movement and balance difficulties associated with Parkinson’s disease. However, scientific research on the subject is somewhat contradictory. Some studies showed moderate benefits, while others showed none. The conflicting findings may be due to the wide variety of physical therapy regimens that have been studied. At the very least, an experienced physical therapist can design an exercise program aimed at minimizing the effects of the disease.
Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with everyday activities, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable in-home care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
Watch for Non-Neurological Symptoms
Although the majority of Parkinson’s symptoms are neurological and affect movement and muscle control, the disease can also cause other symptoms, which may include changes in sleep patterns and mood, gastrointestinal problems, and speech and swallowing difficulties. Many of these symptoms can be treated with additional medications or ancillary therapies, including speech therapy and mental health counseling.
Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Austin home care service agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
Informing Other Family Members Is Important
After receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis, many seniors are often reluctant to tell their families out of fear of becoming a burden or losing their independence. By encouraging your loved one to be open with you and other family members about the disease, you have a greater opportunity to provide the emotional support he or she needs while coming to terms with the diagnosis. You and your family can also help your loved one plan for the time when he or she will need more physical assistance.
Ask the doctor if he or she is willing to have a brief session to discuss your loved one’s condition with the immediate family. The doctor can prepare you for what to expect as the disease progresses, which can help you make the necessary social and environmental changes to accommodate your loved one’s needs and arrange for part-time or live-in care. He or she can also inform you about the potential physical and behavioral side effects of Parkinson’s medications, including uncontrollable movements and obsessive-compulsive behaviors, which puts the family in a better position to spot potential warning signs.
Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging in its final stages, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Austin, Texas, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (512) 623-7800.