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5 Tips for Caring for Seniors with Parkinson’s

By , 9:00 am on

Parkinson’s disease destroys nerve cells, which can impact a person’s movement, balance, coordination, flexibility, and cognitive abilities. The disease is more common in older people, and there are over 10 million people who have it worldwide. Symptoms may include tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and performing motor tasks. If your aging loved one has Parkinson’s, caregiving may be a little more difficult and frustrating for you and your family, but there are some things you can do to make it easier.

1. Increase Safety in the Home

One of the best things you can do for your loved one is make the home environment easier to navigate. Remove rugs or attach them to the floor so they don’t cause a tripping hazard. Rearrange furniture and other décor to make wide, easy-to-navigate pathways. Lighting should be easy to reach but difficult to knock over. It may be necessary to add grab bars to the bathroom, as well as ropes to drawer handles throughout the house to make them easier to pull open.

Living alone at home can be challenging for older adults with Parkinson’s. 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 Huntington 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.

2. Look into Modified Equipment

For a person with Parkinson’s disease, everyday tasks like brushing the teeth, using a fork, or drinking from a glass of water can become difficult to do. Fortunately, many medical supply stores sell equipment such as special glasses or toothbrushes with unique handles to make using these items easier. In some cases, you may find you can make your own modifications with items around the house. 

3. Make Changes to Mealtime 

Eating can become difficult for a person with Parkinson’s disease. When preparing meals and snacks for your loved one, you may need to cut the food up smaller or even puree it at times. Try serving food in a bowl rather than a plate so it’s easier to eat without spilling. It’s also important to keep an eye on your loved one during meals to make sure he or she doesn’t choke. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Huntington families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.

4. Buy Clothing That Makes It Easier to Get Dressed

Whether your loved one is still able to get dressed alone or requires help, it may be time to replace clothing with complicated buttons and zippers with items that are easier to wear. Tying shoelaces may become too difficult, so consider buying slide-on shoes or shoes with Velcro for your loved one. Whatever clothing and shoes you buy, make sure they are comfortable and easy to move around in. 

5. Be Patient 

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Just remember to be patient, both with your loved one and yourself. Keep in mind tasks like eating and getting dressed will take longer. It’s natural to get frustrated, angry, sad, or upset. If you feel like your emotions are getting the best of you, take a break. Remember to take care of your own health. Keep up with your social life as much as you can, take time to do things for yourself, and get plenty of exercise. If you find you are too overwhelmed, look for a support group in your area for family members of people with Parkinson’s.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Huntington Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call (304) 521-2909 to learn more about our elder care services and how they can be customized to meet your loved one’s unique needs