Creating a Comprehensive Parkinson’s Care Team for Your Elderly Loved One

If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you may be taking on the role of primary caregiver. However, seniors who suffer from complex and chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s, benefit most from an interdisciplinary team of professionals. The collaborative effort will help provide individualized treatment to address the needs and varying side effects that your loved one experiences.

Home Care Assistance New Hampshire provides a list of professionals that you may want to consider for your loved one’s care team:

  • Primary care provider – Your loved one’s primary care provider is the individual who regularly manages their overall health. After a Parkinson’s diagnosis, ask your primary care provider for a referral for a Parkinson’s or geriatric specialist.
  • Neurologist – These doctors specialize in problems with the nervous system and will be able to provide specialty advice to your loved one. They are experienced in Parkinson’s care and will be able to monitor your loved one’s specific case and work with them to prescribe appropriate medications as well as recommendations for care.
  • Physical therapist – Physical therapists are important in helping treat the mobility problems that Parkinson’s patients encounter. Some physical therapists are also New Hampshire elder care specialists and will be specifically help seniors with their flexibility, strength, balance and walking. Physical therapists can also teach family caregivers safe and effective ways to provide assistance with mobility at home.
  • Occupational therapist – An occupational therapist can help address safety and independence issues that arise as certain activities of daily living become difficult to perform. An occupational therapist will help the senior modify or adapt activities such as dressing, eating and getting in and out of bed.
  • Speech-language pathologists – In the later stages of Parkinson’s, seniors experience difficulty speaking as well as eating and swallowing. These trained New Hampshire elder care professionals help seniors assess and treat speech, voice, memory and swallowing problems. The earlier senior’s receive help in this area, the more strength they will have in their vocal cords to maintain communication and the ability to eat independently.
  • Psychiatrists – A Parkinson’s diagnosis can be challenging emotionally and physically for a senior adult. Psychiatrists can help treat problems such as depression and anxiety and help seniors with any negative feelings they may have about the disease and its side effects.
  • Home caregivers – Caregivers assist seniors with activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, personal care and transportation. They allow seniors to maintain their independence and quality of life for as long as possible. Caregivers also offer invaluable companionship to combat feelings of depression and anxiety. New Hampshire caregivers can also work with seniors and their family members, providing advice and emotional support for coping with the disease.