Tips to Consider when Caring for a Senior with Parkinson’s Disease

By , 9:00 am on

Parkinson’s is a neurological disorder that typically impacts motor functions, mental health, and cognition. However, a proper care plan can manage the disease, slow its progression, and boost the quality of life. Here are some important tips to consider when caring for a senior with Parkinson’s Disease. 

Consistent Communication & Interaction with the Senior

Interacting with others is essential for seniors with Parkinson’s disease because it reduces the risk of depression and isolation. However, communication problems could cause your senior loved one to withdraw from social activities, increasing the risk of loneliness and boredom. Help your loved one develop communication strategies to use while he or she is engaging in hobbies and attending social events within the community. For example, if your loved one’s speech is often slurred or he or she has difficulty finding the right words, encourage him or her to talk slowly and keep sentences short when holding conversations. Singing is also a good way to exercise the voice and breathing muscles, which can lead to better communication.

Manage Stress with Daily Activity Plans

Anxiety can increase the risk of depression among seniors with Parkinson’s and cause symptoms associated with the condition, such as tremors, to worsen. However, developing stress management strategies can reduce tremors and enhance mood. Customizing daily activities is an excellent way to keep stress levels down. When you tailor the tasks to your loved one’s current physical and mental abilities, you could make it easier to accomplish things and boost his or her confidence levels. Listening to music is another way to calm your loved one and reduce stress. If your loved one enjoys playing an instrument, encourage him or her to continue playing to boost his or her mood and alleviate tremors.

Dietary Adjustments

Chewing and swallowing can be difficult for older adults with Parkinson’s because they lose control of their throat and mouth muscles as the disease progresses. Failing to consume the nutrients their bodies need could increase the risk of malnutrition and lead to other health conditions. Adjust your loved one’s eating habits, which could include shifting to soft items and pureed foods. The care plan should promote eating at a table instead of lying in bed or slouching on the couch. Sitting upright could make chewing and swallowing easier. You should also limit background distractions during mealtimes and cut food into small pieces.

Physical Activities to Encourage Mobility

Balance problems and freezing are typical in older adults with Parkinson’s disease. Physical activities can reduce these symptoms and lower the risk of falling. A proper care plan includes exercises like walking, yoga, tai chi, and weight training. These activities could help your loved one manage freezing better and enhance the ability to walk and turn when navigating the home. You should also encourage your parent to join a senior-friendly exercise class tailored for individuals with Parkinson’s.

Custom In-Home Care Plans for Senior with Parkinson’s

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 senior home care. 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.

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with Parkinson’s Disease and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance of South Tampa. We offer in-home senior care to provide peace of mind to loved ones and comfort for seniors to continue living in their homes. Contact us today to speak with an expert team member or learn more about our in-home services for seniors


▲ Contact Us Today