When caring for a loved one who has a degenerative illness, it’s important to have a clear and comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the disease and its effects. This is vital for providing needs-specific home care for an elderly parent and for ensuring your family member is both comfortable and able to maintain an acceptable quality of life. Unfortunately, there are several, important things that seniors with Parkinson’s and their caregivers aren’t being told about PD.
Parkinson’s Drugs Side Effects Can Be Just as Bad as PD Symptoms
Most PD patients are unable to alleviate the full spectrum of their symptoms with a single prescription. As a result, they wind up taking multiple medications instead. With each new pill, there often comes a new list of potential side effects, which can cumulatively end up being worse than PD symptoms themselves. Among some of the most common side effects of PD medications are uncontrollable twitching, insomnia, diminished appetite, and urinary problems.
PD Can Impact Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
PD is most commonly associated with the effects that it has on motor control. As natural dopamine production wanes, controlling different parts of the body becomes more difficult. Surprisingly, however, PD also affects the natural production of serotonin, which is a key mood elevator and plays a major role in establishing mood balance. Decreases in serotonin production caused by PD can result in prolonged periods of depression and major bouts of anxiety.
Exercise Can Have a Very Positive Impact on Quality of Life
Vigorous exercise can actually offset the PD-related decline in natural serotonin production. High-energy workouts can help seniors maintain greater mood balance. More importantly, this is a benefit that can be gained without using additional pharmaceutical products or experiencing the side effects that these are likely to entail.
Seniors Can Benefit Greatly from PD Support Groups
Support groups can provide the important social and sharing components that people often come to miss once PD begins having a noticeable impact on their lives, their relationships, and their overall mobility. Whether support groups are pursued online or in-person, it’s vital to find one that is comprised of people with similar concerns and needs. This will expose participants to relevant resources and tips for making their lives both better and easier.
PD Symptoms Can Be Alleviated with Physical Therapy
There are a number of natural ways to control the symptoms of PD. These can be especially beneficial for those who are less medication-tolerant and are seeking drug-free pain management plans. However, physical therapy in its numerous incarnations is also great for supplementing drug-based treatments as well. Physical therapy typically involves a series of structured exercises for building balance, improving fine and general motor control, maintaining good posture, and relieving tense, tired and over-worked muscles that are being forced to compensate for problems in other areas.
Updating Loved Ones Is Key to Enjoying a Comfortable Life Quality
While seniors with PD are often fearful of becoming burdensome to their loved ones, talking about their illnesses can actually be best for everyone involved. Primary doctors can assist in explaining their illnesses, addressing their needs, and assessing abilities. This gives family members a chance to pitch in as needed, while allowing seniors with PD to proactively negotiate their own independence.
There are many stressful things that will come about after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, but finding trusted home care for a loved one shouldn’t be one of them. At Home Care Assistance, we offer flexible care schedules, 24/7 availability, and no long-term contracts, ensuring seniors have help at home whenever they need it. In addition to comprehensive care, we also offer respite care in Centennial to provide relief to family caregivers. For more information, please give us a call at 303.957.3100 and request your free in-home consultation.