Doctor visits make up a relatively small amount of a Parkinson’s patient’s care. Most care for the disease, particularly in the early stages, is actually done in the home either by a family caregiver or a professional caregiver from an agency like Wellness Home Care. If you are the family caregiver for a loved one with Parkinson’s, take a look at the following practical day-to-day tips to help maximize your loved one’s independence and safety while assisting with activities of daily living.
Nutrition: A well-balanced diet helps reduce cell loss in a person with Parkinson’s. Consuming antioxidants, like those found in blueberries, broccoli, spinach, green tea, beans, and certain nuts, can also help fight oxidative stress.
Chewing/Swallowing: People with Parkinson’s often experience difficulties chewing and swallowing. Anyone caring for a person with Parkinson’s should learn the Heimlich Maneuver in case the person begins to choke.
Fall Prevention: Parkinson’s patients often have a difficult time walking and balancing, so it is important to modify the home environment in order to prevent the risk of falling. Installing items like customized toilet seats and grab bars where appropriate, and removing obstructions throughout the home such as door sills and throw rugs, is a good start.
Anxiety and Depression: Combating depression and anxiety is a large part of the Parkinson’s battle. Watch your loved one closely for signs of depression, and have him or her diagnosed as soon as possible.
Medications: Parkinson’s medications can have multiple side effects and can affect a person in different ways. Some medications may cause hallucinations or nightmares, for example. Be sure your care recipient’s physician tells you about all the expected side effects of medications so you know what to expect.
While a person with Parkinson’s disease will undergo some physical and emotional changes, simple lifestyle modifications can help him or her live a fully enjoyable life. For information about how to care for someone with Parkinson’s or to find out more about our home care services, contact Wellness Home Care in Goshen, Newburgh, Liberty, Suffern, or White Plains, NY today!