If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it may become difficult for him or her to manage day-to-day activities. The symptoms associated with Parkinson’s can lead to a poor quality of life. However, family caregivers can ensure their loved ones remain safe and comfortable. Here are some of the ways you or a La Mesa caregiver from Coast Care Partners can help your loved one manage the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s.
Anxiety is one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and it can lead to severe depression. Withdrawing from social activities and family gatherings could be a sign of depression. You should be concerned if your loved one does not want to participate in physical activities or no longer enjoys normal day-to-day activities. When this happens, you should encourage your loved one to see his or her doctor. The doctor can prescribe medications to combat depression. Your loved one should also consider meditating or joining a support group to manage the anxiety.
Offer Warm Baths and Massages
Tremors, muscle spasms, and cramps are just a few of the symptoms seniors with Parkinson’s may face. These symptoms could cause your loved one to shake or rub his or her fingers back and forth on a regular basis. Taking a warm bath could ease the spasms almost instantly. Family caregivers can also massage their loved ones to relieve cramps. If you notice your loved one having a tremor, encourage him or her to lie face down on the floor and relax. Doing this for five or ten minutes could calm his or her body and manage the tremors.
Encourage Regular Exercise
Family caregivers need to encourage physical activity to increase balance, coordination, and flexibility. Doing yoga, dancing, and other fun exercises can help seniors with Parkinson’s manage impaired posture and balance. Exercise can also reduce muscle stiffness, which can increase range of motion and alleviate some of the pain your loved one is experiencing.
Make Mealtime Easier to Manage
Drooling and difficulty eating are two of the issues your loved one may experience after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The change in muscles could make it difficult to swallow and chew, leading to poor nutrition. To manage this symptom, encourage your loved one to take time when eating. If your loved one needs a few more minutes or wants to rest his or her elbows on the table, allow him or her to do so. You should also provide utensils that have built-up handles. Long straws with plastic handles and plate guards can make eating and drinking easier. Give your loved one hard candy, gum, or lozenges to control excess saliva. Drinking from a straw can also strengthen your loved one’s throat, mouth, and lip muscles, which controls the drooling.
If you are having difficulty caring for a senior loved one with Parkinson’s, reach out to Coast Care Partners, a trusted provider of La Mesa, CA, at-home care. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist your loved one with a wide array of tasks, including exercise, meal prep, and medication reminders. Call 619-354-2544 today to learn more.