Roughly 70 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) experience tremors, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Levodopa is the drug often prescribed for tremors and other movement-based symptoms of this nature. However, not everyone with PD will respond well to this medication, so it can be helpful to have a better idea of what else can be done to alleviate Parkinson’s tremors. Here are four suggestions.
1. Avoid Stimulants
There’s no cure for Parkinson’s tremors, but they can often be managed to some extent by avoiding or minimizing some of the triggers that can make them worse. One way to do this is to avoid stimulants that can affect the nervous system. Foods and beverages that fit into this category include coffee, certain types of tea, energy drinks, caffeinated soda, and chocolate. Excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided as well.
Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need 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 Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
2. Manage Stress
Some Parkinson’s tremors are aggravated by emotional stress. Seniors living with PD may be able to alleviate or minimize this particular tremor trigger by effectively managing stress and reducing anxiety as much as possible. Because there are many variations of stress management, it may be necessary for seniors with PD to experiment with different options and techniques to find the ones that work best for them. Possibilities with stress management include:
• Deep breathing
• Keeping a journal so stressful thoughts can be privately expressed
• Talk therapy (psychotherapy)
• Cognitive behavioral therapy to increase mental clarity and focus
It can also be helpful for seniors with PD to seek treatment for depression and other mental health issues. Conditions of this nature can also contribute to emotional stress and affect the ability to manage tremors.
3. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can help seniors with Parkinson’s increase range of motion, stability, flexibility, and mobility. What this may do is lessen the impact of tremors when they do occur. In fact, the Parkinson’s Foundation cites research suggesting the neuroprotective benefits associated with exercise may slow the progression of symptoms like tremors. Forms of exercise appropriate for seniors with PD can vary, but recommendations tend to include:
• Strength training exercises
• Seated exercises if mobility is already limited for other reasons
• Aerobic exercise to increase circulation to the muscles that help with balance
• Aquatic forms of exercise to help with balance and strength in a way that’s less stressful on joints and muscles
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 24-hour care. New Hampshire seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
4. Try Yoga Therapy
Because of the slow, steady, and controlled movements associated with yoga, it’s a multifaceted discipline that has both mind and body benefits that could address tremors. Many of the moves and poses associated with yoga focus on core muscles, but there’s also an emphasis on posture, relaxation, correct breathing, and mind-body balance—all things that may offset common tremor triggers. The many benefits associated with yoga may also help seniors with PD sleep better, which can reduce the fatigue that sometimes contributes to tremors.
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 elder 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. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (603) 471-3004 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.