A Canadian study of neurological conditions estimates the number of Canadians 65 and older with Parkinson’s disease will more than double by 2031, which is just one of the reasons it’s a good idea for older adults to be as proactive as possible about lowering their risk of developing this progressive condition. Here are six ways to accomplish this goal.
1. Get More Vitamin D
Research suggests people with Parkinson’s disease tend to have lower levels of vitamin D, which is important because it helps with the absorption of bone-beneficial calcium. Sunshine is a reliable source of vitamin D, and it can also be found in egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon and tuna, cheese, and certain other dairy products. Supplements may be beneficial as well for some seniors.
Preparing nutritious meals is often a challenging task for seniors with Parkinson’s. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
2. Fight Inflammation
It’s believed certain inflammatory changes in the brain may play a role in the development and progression of Parkinson’s disease. CTV News cites research suggesting the popular anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen may lower Parkinson’s risk for seniors. Foods with natural anti-inflammatory properties that could produce similar results include:
• Broccoli and other green leafy veggies
• Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and other inflammation-reducing spices
• Dark chocolate in moderation
Another way to keep inflammation in check is for seniors to find ways to manage stress effectively. This is because emotional stress also contributes to inflammation that may affect the brain.
3. Maintain Optimal Mental Health
There’s evidence suggesting seniors with depression may be at increased risk for developing Parkinson’s. While treatment for mental health disorders will vary based on the circumstances, such conditions are often manageable with a combination of therapy and medication.
4. Get Regular Exercise
To date, no studies show exercising regularly prevents Parkinson’s altogether. However, assessments of larger populations suggest staying physically active may play a role in lowering the risk of developing this condition. Parkinson’s itself is related to a loss of nerve cells in certain parts of the brain. Senior-friendly forms of exercise, such as water-based activities, yoga, low-impact aerobics, and walking, may also help the brain work more efficiently in a way that minimizes brain cell damage. Regular exercise has also been linked to better cognitive health.
Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Mississauga home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
5. Eat More CoQ10-Rich Foods
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring coenzyme that acts like a cell-protecting antioxidant. Deficiencies of this substance have been associated with neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease. An easy way for seniors to get more CoQ10 is by eating healthy foods that naturally contain it. Some of these include:
• Liver, kidney, and other organ meats
• Wild-caught fish
• Cauliflower, spinach, and certain other vegetables
6. Stay Away from Pesticides & Other Toxins
While the research isn’t conclusive, there’s some evidence suggesting exposure to pesticides and other toxins may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s later in life. Since exposure to toxic substances isn’t healthy in general, it never hurts for older adults to err on the side of caution and avoid direct contact with substances like these.
Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they’ll likely need assistance from family members or other caregivers to do so safely. For many seniors in Mississauga, ON, 24-hour care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (905) 592-0085.