5 Important Details a Doctor Might Not Mention about Parkinson’s

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Doctors can be a wonderful source of information and support after an elderly loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but they won’t always tell you everything you need to know about addressing the disease. Here are several things about Parkinson’s the doctor may forget to mention.

1. Parkinson’s Medications Can Cause Significant Side Effects

Most people with Parkinson’s take multiple medications to treat the symptoms of the disease. The most common side effects of these medications include:

  • Uncontrolled twitching or other involuntary body movements
  • Insomnia
  • Obsessive-compulsive behavior

Your loved one can be proactive in minimizing the side effects by letting the doctor know about any changes in symptoms and asking about potential side effects anytime he or she starts a new medication.

Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease can live at home, but they may need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Clearwater, Florida, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

2. You Should Be Patient with Treatments

It can take time to find the right combination of medications and other treatments to handle your loved one’s Parkinson’s symptoms. In some cases, it can take several years to arrive at the right therapy. Your loved one shouldn’t hesitate to ask about alternatives if he or she feels a particular treatment isn’t working or use online resources to learn about how Parkinson’s treatments are supposed to work. 

3. It’s Important to Find a Good Neurologist

Not all neurologists specialize in Parkinson’s disease. Your loved one should look for a neurologist with a focus on Parkinson’s and other movement disorders. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has an online tool to help your loved one find a local specialist. 

4. Regular Exercise Is Crucial

According to the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, an hour of vigorous exercise two to four days a week can give seniors with Parkinson’s a better quality of life. Exercise can enhance balance and coordination, increase muscle control and flexibility, and boost mood. Some activities to consider include yoga, Zumba, strength training, and tai chi.

Your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with exercise and everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated elder care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

5. Joining a Support Group Can Help

Knowing others are facing similar challenges can be a great source of comfort when handling a difficult diagnosis. Ask the doctor or go online to find Parkinson’s support groups in your loved one’s area. Keep in mind it may take a little time to find the right group for your loved one.

Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging, especially in its final stages, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for senior loved ones 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 Clearwater 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 one of our Care Managers at (727) 330-7862 to learn about our customized in-home care plans.

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