5 Effects of Parkinson’s Disease on the Family

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Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement in older adults and leads to cognitive problems. The disease can also impact mental and emotional health. Here are a few factors that can strain relationships between aging adults with Parkinson’s and their family members. 

1. Amnesia

Older adults with Parkinson’s can experience a variety of cognitive problems, including memory loss and amnesia. They may forget important people, places, and things, making daily life stressful for them and their family caregivers. 

It can be challenging to watch your senior loved one have difficulty remembering your name, misplace objects, or forget where he or she lives, but you must remain positive, especially while you’re in your loved one’s presence. When your parent forgets familiar people and things, remember it’s the effect of the disease, so try to be optimistic and reassuring. 

At some point, your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated senior home care providers can reach out to Align Home Care. 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.

2. Communication Challenges

It’s common for older adults with Parkinson’s to have fixed, mask-like expressions. The reduced facial expressions are a motor symptom associated with the condition, and they can cause communication problems for seniors and their families. Instead of assuming how your loved one feels, ask. You cannot tell if your loved one is happy or uncomfortable based on nonverbal cues. 

3. Mobility Challenges

Difficulty moving, tremors, and decreased balance could lead to physical exhaustion for seniors and their caregivers. Constantly moving your loved one from room to room could increase the risk of strains and accidents, which is why you should hire a professional caregiver to come in and assist with daily tasks. You should also take your loved one to physical therapy sessions to increase his or her motor function and reduce rigidity, poor coordination, freezing, and slow, shuffling gait. 

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to handle, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Kennebunk home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

4. Lack of Sleep

Reduced dopamine levels and increased inflammation in the brain caused by Parkinson’s disease can make sleeping difficult for older adults. The restlessness can cause them to be crankier throughout the day and increase the risk of behavioral challenges, which takes a toll on family caregivers. 

The inability to sleep could also prevent family caregivers from getting a good night’s rest, leading to physical and mental exhaustion. To enhance sleep quality, develop a regular bedtime schedule for your loved one, and ask his or her doctor about medication that can reduce your loved one’s Parkinson’s symptoms while he or she is sleeping. 

5. Urinary Incontinence

If you’re not comfortable with this aspect of caregiving, it can make the role even more challenging. Urinary incontinence can also cause seniors to withdraw from family gatherings and social activities. 

You should take your loved one to the doctor to determine if the bladder problems are due to Parkinson’s or another condition. The doctor can provide treatment options that help your loved one manage bladder issues and prevent incontinence. 

Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they’ll likely need assistance from family members or other caregivers to do so safely. For many seniors in Kennebunk, ME, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Align Home Care, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (207) 835-3605.


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