As a family caregiver, a Parkinson’s diagnosis could leave you unsure of what to do next. It is important for you to remain calm, especially when you are around your parent. Here are some of the things you should do after your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Don’t Take Over
When your loved one receives the diagnosis, you may want to jump in and begin doing everything for him or her, but you must refrain from making this mistake. Ask your loved one how he or she feels about you helping out, and encourage him or her to continue doing as much as possible with little or no assistance. It is important for your loved one to maintain independence. Although you can accomplish tasks faster than your loved one, let him or her determine the pace, regardless of how long it takes. Rearrange the furniture in the home to make it easier for your loved one to move from room to room. Make subtle changes to the home without taking over.
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Develop Exercise Routines
It is important for seniors with Parkinson’s disease to take care of their bodies. Exercise is a vital component when it comes to maintaining mobility, balance, and the ability to complete daily activities. Exercising on a regular basis can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. Your loved one should also perform breathing exercises to ease symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, an increased risk of chest infections, and poor speech.
Prepare Nutritious Meals
Malnutrition can be a serious issue for seniors with Parkinson’s, especially as they continue to age and have difficulty asking their family caregivers for help with grocery shopping and cooking. Constipation is another issue seniors with this disease will likely experience. Help your loved one find meals that are easy to cook. Make sure he or she has access to high-fiber foods that promote healthy bowel movements. You should also make the tools in the kitchen more accessible. Appliances and cooking utensils should be below eye level because seniors with Parkinson’s often have difficulty looking up.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Motivate Your Loved One to Join a Support Group
Support groups can be comforting, reassuring, and offer helpful information pertaining to Parkinson’s. Being part of a support group could make a big difference in your loved one’s emotional and mental wellbeing. On the days your loved one needs positive reinforcement, a support group can come in handy. You should also consider joining a support group for Parkinson’s caregivers. While attending group meetings, you can receive encouragement from other family caregivers who are going through a similar situation. You can also learn new tips to make the caregiving process easier and less stressful.
After receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis, seniors can benefit from receiving comprehensive Parkinson’s care. Ft. Lauderdale seniors can trust in the caregivers at Home Care Assistance to help them manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s and maintain a high quality of life. To learn about our high-quality Parkinson’s care plans, call us at (954) 909-0370 today.