Although there are a number of medications that can control the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), there are currently no treatments that can reverse its effects. Fortunately, with the right combination of conventional and alternative strategies, it’s possible for many older adults with PD to continue with their regular routines.
Treatments for Parkinson’s can vary widely according to the progression of the disease and the needs of the individual. Most individuals with PD are prescribed levodopa preparations, which are designed to replace and balance the body’s own diminished dopamine production. Common alternatives to levodopa preparations include anticholinergic medications and MAO inhibitors. These can limit stiffness, tremors, and other common symptoms that impair mobility and overall functionality.
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.
There are also several surgical treatments for PD that are relatively new, including deep brain stimulation, or DBS. With DBS, tiny electrodes are placed in a targeted section of the brain. Then a small device known as an impulse generator is installed beneath the collarbone and sends an electrical impulse to the portion of the brain that regulates motor function. Those who elect to undergo this procedure are also given handheld controls they can use to monitor and adjust their DBS devices and turn them on and off. In many instances, DBS is able to eliminate or significantly reduce the majority of PD symptoms.
Many seniors with PD experience a marked decrease in their appetites. This is largely due to diminished dopamine, which plays a role in triggering feelings of hunger. It’s important for individuals with PD to eat regular balanced meals that contain an array of beneficial nutrients and healthy fats. Seniors with PD should avoid processed and refined foods, excess caffeine, and snacks that contain large amounts of sugar.
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. Clearwater seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Efforts to achieve and maintain mood balance are very important for aging adults, particularly for those who live with PD. Regular low-impact exercise can stave off feelings of anxiety, depression, and general malaise. It can also limit muscle stiffness, promote better balance, and help seniors retain more of their mobility.
Family members and caregivers should also make a special effort to ensure their loved ones with PD aren’t living in isolation. Marked changes in mobility and overall function can make it difficult for aging adults with PD to get out and socialize on their own.
Excess stress and worry can take a physical toll on seniors with Parkinson’s, as can mood swings, depression, and isolation. Stress control is a surprisingly effective strategy for slowing the progression of this illness and limiting its symptoms.
Many people with PD can benefit from engaging in water-based fitness activities, practicing moderate yoga, or using diaphragmatic breathing to keep their emotions on an even keel. With less stress, it’s often possible to limit decreases in fine motor control, balance, and coordination while reducing tremors and muscle stiffness.
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 Clearwater homecare 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 Parkinson’s home care plan for your loved one, call (727) 330-7862 today.