Parkinson’s is a neurological disorder caused when the brain cells that are responsible for producing dopamine die. A dopamine deficiency leads to a series of physical and mental problems, such as tremors, speech problems, moodiness, impaired memory, bad posture, bradykinesia (slowness in movements), and rigidity. What does senior care for Parkinson’s entail?
There is no cure for Parkinson’s but there are medications that can help minimize the effects of the disease. However, the effectiveness of some of the drugs used will diminish over time. Be aware of some of the side effects with taking certain medications.
Parkinson’s will present differently in each person making it difficult to treat. The right treatment for the unique set of symptoms a person incurs is often found by trial and error.
There are four main things that senior care should know about what a patient with Parkinson’s needs:
Find a Good Doctor – a good doctor isn’t necessarily one with the best credentials. A good doctor listens to the patient and the caregiver. A good doctor will have the ability to assess and respond to the ever-changing condition of the patient as the disease progresses. If you feel that your loved one isn’t getting the care they need, don’t hesitate to look into a second opinion or getting a different doctor.
Exercise – exercise on a regular basis makes it easier for people with Parkinson’s to move. Walking, yoga, and dance classes are good exercises for movement. Physical therapy can also help with symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Support Group – it is essential for those facing the challenges and limitations of Parkinson’s to be able to talk to others who are going through the same experience.
A Loving Caregiver – many times caregivers of people with Parkinson’s struggle with the difference between helping and enabling their loved one because conditions of the disease are going to affect their ability to perform daily activities. Senior care can be challenging in this way because you want to encourage your loved one to do as much as they can without overdoing it.
For most people with Parkinson’s disease, it is the lack of control over their body movements that they find the most frustrating. Some days will be good and some days are going to be really off.
Senior care for an individual with Parkinson’s is going to play an important part in their daily life as the disease progresses. The caregiver needs to be patient, loving, and supportive to what the patient’s needs are.