Caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease requires quickly learning how to adapt to changing situations. Over time, your senior loved one’s symptoms will progress, and you can expect to need to help with managing his or her treatment plan starting now. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of support available to you as a caregiver, and you can use this guide to help you get started on caring for your loved one.
1. Get Organized
Between keeping up with doctor’s appointments, medical bills, and household tasks, you may feel overwhelmed at the sheer number of your responsibilities. An organization system can help you keep it all together. Create a filing system for your loved one’s essential documents so you never have to scramble to find what you need. A calendar dedicated to your loved one’s care may also be helpful, especially when you need to communicate with other caregivers.
2. Learn About the Progression of the Disease
Over time, Parkinson’s disease progresses through a series of stages marked by specific symptoms. Knowing whether your loved one is diagnosed in the earliest stage or the later ones can help you plan for the future. For instance, you may see your loved one facing difficulty with eating in the later stages, so you should have a discussion now about how to manage his or her care. Being aware of your loved one’s wishes takes some of the pressure off you when it comes time to make decisions such as whether or not he or she can age in place safely.
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 homecare. 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 and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
3. Prepare a Safe Home
Parkinson’s symptoms place your loved one at a higher risk of having an accident at home. Look for potential fall risks, such as loose stairs and broken handrails, and repair them right away. Your loved one may also need to have things such as bed rails added to the home to help him or her avoid getting hurt.
4. Pay Attention to Diet and Exercise
Your loved one’s overall physical and mental health may have some influence over the symptoms. Try to help your loved one get moving each day. Although the exercise routine may need to change as the condition progresses, most people can continue with things such as walking and doing yoga in the early stages. Exercising increases blood flow to the brain and maintains strength and flexibility in the muscles. Your loved one should also eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables with antioxidants that guard against cognitive changes. If necessary, arrange for you or a caregiver to help with meal planning and doing exercises each day so your loved one maintains good health.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Centennial seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
5. Encourage Independence
A Parkinson’s diagnosis today is different compared to years ago. Today, seniors with Parkinson’s disease can continue to live independently through the earliest stages of the disease. Help your loved one find ways to manage routine tasks. For instance, your loved one can use dressing aids to get ready for the day after a caregiver helps him or her get out of bed. Doing as much as he or she can independently may preserve your loved one’s abilities.
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, a Centennial senior home care 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. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (303) 957-3100 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.