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Does Parkinson’s Disease Worsen?

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The characteristics of Parkinson’s are progressive, and over time, the disease will worsen. There are steps seniors can take to slow the progression of the disease and the ailments it causes. Below are some of the things that cause Parkinson’s to worsen and what can be done to address each issue.

Chronic Stress

Too much stress on the body can lead to increased damage to dopamine cells, causing Parkinson’s to accelerate. When seniors are unable to manage stress effectively, the acute stress could cause motor symptoms to worsen, which include tremors and freezing. To enhance your senior loved one’s quality of life and slow the progression of this disease, encourage him or her to stay physically active, participate in purposeful activities, and find positive ways to manage the illness, such as joining a Parkinson’s support group. Another way to reduce stress is to schedule activities at a specific time during the day. For instance, if your loved one becomes anxious in the mornings, he or she can do a fun activity around this time to prevent stress levels from rising.

At some point, your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated Austin home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Exhaustion

Failing to get enough sleep can cause the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease to get worse as it progresses. Your loved one’s tolerance for the mental and physical effects of the disease could fluctuate, so he or she will need to take things slowly when it comes to exercise, diet, and social activities. Going at a slow pace can prevent exhaustion and allow your parent to sleep better throughout the night. The more sleep your loved one gets, the better his or her stress-regulating cells may function, providing energy, motivation, and confidence. 

Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they will likely need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. For many seniors in Austin, 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.

Ineffective Exercise Routines

The intensity and consistency of your loved one’s exercise routine could be the key to slowing the progression of Parkinson’s. Practical exercises can increase coordination, balance, flexibility, strength, and stamina. Keep in mind the activities should not only provide physical benefits but also challenge the brain enough to prevent the disease from worsening at an accelerated rate. The most effective exercises for seniors with Parkinson’s include:

• Yoga
• Tai chi
• Cycling
• Dancing
• Pilates 
• Weight training

Poor Eating Habits

The foods seniors with Parkinson’s eat may also prevent their medications from optimizing, causing the disease to progress more rapidly and its symptoms to worsen. When this happens, it will feel as though the treatment is wearing off. Your loved one’s medications need to be optimized to prevent stiffness, increased slowness, constipation, weight gain, and worsening posture. In addition to eating healthy, seniors also need to drink at least six cups of water each day to make their medications more effective. 

The best foods for seniors with Parkinson’s include:

• Vegetables
• Whole grains
• Fruits
• Fish 
• Beans
• Eggs

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to manage, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Austin Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (512) 623-7800 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.

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