7 Steps for Seniors Following a Parkinson’s Diagnosis

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When your senior loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you may need to provide extra care. Although it’s a good idea to get a second opinion about the diagnosis, caring for your loved one may still be overwhelming at times. Here are some tips to ease the diagnosis for you and your loved one.


1. Do Some Research

Parkinson’s disease progresses differently for everyone. Seniors and their family caregivers need to educate themselves about the symptoms associated with the disease so they know what to look for in the long term. Stay updated on current treatments, breakthroughs, and other information pertaining to Parkinson’s. 


2. Address Emotional Health Concerns 

As a family caregiver, you’ll likely spend a great deal of time with your loved one, so be mindful about his or her moods. Speak with your loved one’s doctor if you notice signs of anxiety or depression. Although depression is a natural response for individuals with Parkinson’s, this feeling can also be triggered by changes in the brain. Therefore, a doctor can determine what’s causing the depression and ways to treat it.


3. Re-Evaluate the Diet

Your loved one will need to maintain his or her energy, and eating a well-balanced diet can help. Seniors with Parkinson’s disease experience low bone mineral density and are prone to falling, which could lead to more severe issues. Your loved one will need to eat foods with plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Make sure your loved one’s diet includes plenty of grains, vegetables, meats, beans, and dairy products. 

Caring for senior loved ones 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 Assisting Hands Home Care for the help they need. We provide high-quality in-home care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.


4. Develop an Exercise Routine 

Exercise can enhance balance, grip strength, and motor coordination. A good exercise routine can also help with tremors and flexibility. Some appropriate exercises your loved one can try include yoga, biking, and walking on a treadmill. However, you should always check with the doctor to determine what exercises are safe with regard to the different stages of Parkinson’s. 

If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Orlando, live-in care is available around the clock if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.


5. Go to a Support Group

A Parkinson’s diagnosis may be difficult for your loved one to accept, but joining a support group could be an effective way to handle the daily realities of the disease. Your loved one can go to Parkinson’s support groups, and there are also support groups for caregivers where you can speak with others, compare notes, and share caregiving tips. 


6. Attend Regular Doctor Visits 

Your loved one will need to develop a good relationship with his or her primary physician. The doctor can keep you and your loved one informed of the progression of the disease and available treatments and also provide information pertaining to side effects of medications, physical changes you can expect, and therapies that may be beneficial. 


7. Stay Organized

To prevent your loved one from becoming too stressed, create a calendar of daily activities and responsibilities, including mealtimes, exercise routines, recreational activities, and doctor visits. This calendar can also be beneficial to you and other caregivers. This way, you can stay organized and relieve some of the stress that accompanies caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s. 

When seniors develop Parkinson’s disease, their families aren’t always able to provide the care they need and deserve. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Orlando families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Call one of our Care Specialists today to learn about our customized in-home care plans.

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