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Essential Elements of Care Plans for Seniors with Parkinson’s

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Planning is an essential part of the caregiving process, but it often goes overlooked. Establishing a proper care plan can prevent many challenges for Parkinson’s caregivers, and it can boost the physical and emotional wellbeing of their elderly loved ones. When developing a care plan, make sure all family caregivers are involved, and give your senior parent considerable input.

Meal Strategies

Chewing and swallowing can be challenging at any stage of Parkinson’s because the disease causes older adults to lose control of their throat and mouth muscles, and it may hurt when they chew their food, take medications, or drink liquids. Serve soft foods and encourage your loved one to chew on the unaffected side of his or her mouth. While your loved one is eating, make sure he or she is well positioned to prevent choking and enhance his or her swallowing skills. Since Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, your parent’s swallowing abilities may change over time. Your strategies for mealtimes may need to change periodically.

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 everyday activities, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable homecare services. Families trust Home Care Assistance 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.

Mobility Techniques

Your care plan should include techniques that promote movement, whether it consists of simple leg lifts or rocking back and forth. Encourage your loved one to get in and out of bed alone and walk to the bathroom, kitchen, and living area with little or no assistance. Keeping your loved one physically active could reduce tremors, strengthen muscles, and help him or her remain independent for more extended periods. In addition to having your loved one move around the home more, the care plan should include daily exercises that increase muscle strength, such as cycling, gardening, walking, and swimming.

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. New Hampshire seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Depression Management

Depression is common in older adults with Parkinson’s due to the limitations the disease imposes. Some of the common symptoms of depression in seniors with Parkinson’s include fatigue, hostility, social withdrawal, insomnia, and poor self-esteem. Your care plan should consist of strategies such as counseling, regular exercise, and simplified yet meaningful activities. Regardless of how the disease progresses, you need to treat your parent with respect and dignity, which can reinforce positive behavior and lower the risk of depression or inappropriate actions.

Effective Communication

Parkinson’s can delay, decrease, or prevent seniors from receiving, processing, and transmitting information. As a result, they may have difficulty communicating their feelings and wants, and it may be challenging for them to comprehend, read, and write. Therefore, achieving effective communication should be a part of your care plan, and this can be done by having your loved one speak slowly, using communication boards, maintaining eye contact, and monitoring his or her nonverbal cues, such as grimacing, smiling, and pouting. Include daily voice exercises to strengthen your loved one’s mouth and throat muscles, which can increase verbal communication.

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 Home Care Assistance, a New Hampshire 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. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (603) 471-3004 today.

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