Seniors with Parkinson’s disease do best when they’re surrounded with care and support from families and friends. As a caregiver, you benefit from being able to spend more time with your senior loved one. While many days will be wonderful, you must also prepare for the times that will be challenging. These six strategies can help you get your loved one’s care plan off to a great start.
1. Get Organized
People with Parkinson’s typically attend multiple doctor’s appointments throughout the year. Your loved one may need to go for follow-up visits, therapy sessions, and other appointments, and these can add up to a busy schedule. Use a calendar app or create a traditional communication station in the home that allows you to keep track of your loved one’s appointments as well as paperwork. If other caregivers are involved, make sure to use the same system to communicate with each other.
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 home care. Families trust Align Home Care 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.
2. Allow for Extra Time in the Daily Routine
Your loved one should be encouraged to do as much as possible independently, so certain parts of the daily routine may sometimes take longer to complete on his or her off days. Try to include extra time in your loved one’s plans each day to allow for some brief personal challenges. While it may take longer, getting dressed or eating independently can preserve critical abilities.
3. Establish a Medication Management Plan
Medications are an asset for seniors who can use them to slow the progression of symptoms such as tremors and freezing. However, your loved one may experience side effects, such as drowsiness, that need to be addressed. It’s also easy to mix up new medications. Create a system that minimizes medication mix-ups, and make sure to let all your loved one’s caregivers know to watch out for new medication side effects.
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. Portland seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
4. Modify the Home to Reduce Fall Risks
Your loved one’s home may need a few minor modifications to reduce the risk of a fall-related injury. For instance, you may need to have a ramp installed or add a few handrails in the bathroom. Give the house a walk-through to look for potential trip hazards, such as a ledge leading into the shower, that can be corrected with minor repairs or replacement.
5. Plan Fun and Stimulating Activities
Physical and mental stimulation are important parts of your loved one’s therapy plan. Find ways to have fun with your loved one that also preserve his or her abilities. Going for a walk, doing a puzzle, and even trying out a new yoga class together are all great ways to bond while you’re looking after your loved one’s health.
6. Identify People to Lean on for Support
Both you and your loved one are bound to have down times. Encourage your parent to join a support group for people with Parkinson’s disease, and help your loved one find people to talk to when he or she feels depressed. For your own wellbeing, look for a support group for family members caring for loved ones with the disease. Having people in your life who understand what caring for people with Parkinson’s is like can help you maintain a positive attitude.
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 Align Home Care, a Portland senior home care 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. Call Align Home Care today at (207) 835-3490 to learn about our high-quality Parkinson’s care.