If your aging loved one is one of the million or so people in the U.S. living with Parkinson’s disease, his or her doctor has probably provided the information necessary to identify and treat symptoms. Yet there are some things the doctor may not tell your loved one about this chronic progressive condition. Having a full understanding of what’s involved with Parkinson’s can help you develop a better plan to address the condition.
1. Parkinson’s Medications Can Have Severe Side Effects
The dopamine agonist drugs often prescribed to treat tremors may have severe side effects that can often be worse than the symptoms these drugs are supposed to treat. These side effects could include insomnia, obsessive-compulsive behavior, uncontrolled movements, or twitching.
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, Oshkosh, WI, 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. It Takes Time to Find an Effective Treatment Combination
In addition to carbidopa and levodopa, there are many medications that can treat symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. It’s often a trial-and-error process until the right combination is found to effectively alleviate symptoms.
3. Not All Neurologists Specialize in Parkinson’s
The doctor will likely refer your parent to a neurologist to address motor issues associated with Parkinson’s. Do a little research and look for one who specializes in movement disorders.
4. Exercise Is Important
Since Parkinson’s affects muscles, regular movement is important. As the condition progresses, exercises can be adjusted to your loved one’s abilities. For instance, water aerobics can offer the same benefits as vigorous exercise without excessive muscle strain.
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 senior home 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. Support Groups Can Help
Input from others is critical when it comes to finding the emotional support your loved one is likely to need. Search for a local Parkinson’s support group (or an online group if you can’t find one close by) with members in your loved one’s age range who can directly relate to the challenges your parent faces.
6. Physical Therapy Can Be Beneficial
Physical therapy is highly personalized, so your loved one is likely to benefit from regular sessions as the condition advances. A good therapist will also monitor symptoms and try a variety of techniques to find the right combination that works best 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 a senior loved one 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 Oshkosh 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. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at (920) 573-6295 today.