Parkinson’s often necessitates many changes to a senior’s overall lifestyle. While medication can help slow the progression of PD, the surest way to improve a person’s quality of life is by ensuring that he or she is making the right choices from day to day. The dedicated Parkinson’s caregivers in Westfield from Home Care Assistance offer the following suggestions for helping your senior loved one improve daily living with Parkinson’s.
Routine visits with physical therapists are important for limiting the muscle stiffness that Parkinson’s can cause. While certain developments are inevitable, taking each of the joints and muscle groups through a full range of motion regularly will preserve your senior loved one’s ability to make these movements on his or her own. Physical therapists also have the advantage of being able to challenge clients to push themselves harder, which is important for seniors with Parkinson’s who commonly experience depression, malaise, and frustration. Working with a physical therapist is a great way to supplement any exercises seniors already do at home.
Planning for Rest
Periods of rest should be regularly scheduled throughout the day. Elderly who have Parkinson’s should rest for 20 to 30 minutes after every meal and should indulge in a lengthy afternoon nap. Because of shorter, shuffling steps and regular tremors, a lot of extra energy will be expended. This makes it important for seniors to be diligent in their efforts to recharge.
Social Interaction and Overall Contentment
While Parkinson’s has a number of complex symptoms, many natural remedies for alleviating these symptoms are centered around boosting the production of feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Keep your loved one in a warm and caring environment and encourage socialization with others as much as possible. Connect your senior loved one with PD support groups and plan regular outings with your loved one when he or she is feeling physically up for it. With Parkinson’s, happiness is essential for retaining good health.
Nutrition should be balanced, however, there should be a strong focus on consuming foods that promote the production of dopamine and serotonin. Orange-colored produce such as oranges, carrots, and yams should be a regular part of the diet. Dark, leafy vegetables, dark berries, poultry, fish and complex carbohydrates are other beneficial dietary additions. Eating foods that stimulate the production of feel-good chemicals will not only elevate your senior family member’s mood, but it can also keep muscle stiffness and tremors at a minimum.
If you need additional help caring for your senior loved one with Parkinson’s or would prefer him or her to have around-the-clock care, reach out to Westfield Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are put through an extensive background check, receive ongoing training in the most up-to-date care practices, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information on the services available near you, call (908) 450-9400 to speak with a friendly and qualified Care Manager.