Statistics indicate more than 100,000 Canadian adults are living with Parkinson’s disease. As the population continues to get older, statisticians predict that in the next two decades, the number of people diagnosed with the neurological disorder will double. Seniors with Parkinson’s often receive a number of medical interventions. However, there are other ways families can help their older loved ones slow the progression of the disorder.
Seniors with Parkinson’s work closely with members of their healthcare teams to manage symptoms. When initially diagnosed, they often receive prescriptions for carbidopa, inosine, and levodopa. The formulations are designed to increase dopamine levels in the brain by supplementation or enhancing the brain’s natural ability to produce dopamine. Some seniors might also receive medications created to alleviate nerve pain or help with depression or other symptoms.
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 the everyday tasks of life, 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.
A Solid Medical Team
Neurologists are able to determine the condition or level of neuron loss by observing how well a senior moves. They may prescribe medications or use other therapies to enhance quality of life. Seniors with Parkinson’s are also often referred to physical or occupational therapists, who evaluate the seniors’ abilities and recommend treatments and exercises to increase mobility.
Seniors with Parkinson’s need fresh fruits and vegetables daily. In addition to providing an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, fresh produce also contains a wealth of chemical compounds that act as antioxidants. The compounds protect neurons from free radical damage and reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to elevate dopamine levels, reduce inflammation, and stabilize mood. Affected seniors should eat mackerel, salmon, or tuna three times a week to reap the benefits. Avocados, nuts, and seeds are also sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The oil found in these foods is also rich in antioxidants. Older adults with Parkinson’s should have a protein-rich meal once a day. However, they shouldn’t have protein too close to the time they take levodopa, as protein renders the supplement ineffective.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Mississauga seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
By engaging in some type of physical activity as often as possible, seniors with Parkinson’s can maintain their flexibility, balance, and mobility. Swimming and water aerobics are recommended, as being in the water provides buoyancy, which alleviates stress on weight-bearing joints. However, the water provides enough resistance for seniors to strengthen their bones and muscles. The ancient art of tai chi is also recommended. The activity involves making slow, rhythmic movements while consciously controlling breathing. Tai chi has been shown to help seniors with Parkinson’s increase their balance and flexibility. Cycling has been scientifically proven to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s. The faster the cyclist pedals, the greater the benefits. Regardless of what type of physical activity seniors decide to enjoy, they must remember not to overdo the exercise. They should rest when feeling tired or overheated and allow their bodies to recover and repair for at least one day between activities.
Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. 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 Mississauga elder 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. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan, call 905-337-1200 today.