How to Care for a Senior after a Parkinson’s Diagnosis

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A Parkinson’s diagnosis can be life-changing, but there are many ways caregivers can help their senior loved ones through this difficult transition. Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative conditions, and while there’s no cure, there are treatment methods that may minimize the symptoms. Here are a few ways caregivers can care for their loved ones who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. 

Know What to Expect

After a Parkinson’s diagnosis, family caregivers should learn more about this disease so they know what to expect as the condition progresses. Parkinson’s disease impacts the body’s ability to produce and use dopamine, a crucial neurotransmitter that controls coordination. As dopamine levels fluctuate, your senior loved one may experience stress, anxiety, mood swings, and difficulty balancing. When you have extensive knowledge, you can provide effective care for a senior with Parkinson’s disease. 

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 Bethlehem 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.

Find the Right Doctor

Parkinson’s disease is a condition that often requires close monitoring from medical professionals. You and your loved one are likely to spend a lot of time in the doctor’s office, so it’s important to find a medical professional you feel comfortable with. Ask questions about everything, from the latest treatment methods to how to help your loved one follow a healthy sleep regimen. 

Encourage Exercise

Exercise is one of the best treatment methods for Parkinson’s disease because it can increase range of motion and coordination and enhance neurological health. For seniors with Parkinson’s disease, it can be difficult to stay active. Monitor your loved one’s weekly exercise regimen and provide assistance when needed. If your loved one is following a home exercise routine, make sure he or she is safe. Physical activity can be an effective way to prevent the worst symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which is why family caregivers should make exercise a priority.

Engaging in physical activity is beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s disease, but it can be overwhelming at times. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Bethlehem, PA, live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Look for New Symptoms

Caregivers must look for new symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as disturbed sleep patterns. Frequent mood changes and persistent insomnia may mean Parkinson’s disease is progressing quickly. If you observe significant changes in your loved one’s behavior, report them to his or her doctor, who will be able to suggest appropriate treatments. To simplify this process, many caregivers keep personal charts that track their loved one’s medication intake and symptoms. 

Manage Medications

The treatment plans for Parkinson’s disease are varied and individualized, and your loved one may take medications to offset many symptoms, ranging from movement issues to mood disorders. Develop a system that ensures your loved one gets his or her prescriptions on time every day. Medication alert apps are a great way to keep track of prescriptions.

Caring for a senior loved one with Parkinson’s disease can be challenging at times. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Bethlehem, PA, 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. To learn about our high-quality senior care plans, call us at 484-350-3874 today.