A Parkinson’s diagnosis can leave a senior feeling flooded with a wide range of emotions. From relief at finally having an explanation for troubling symptoms to concerns about the future, there’s no right or wrong way to react. Although there will be many fluctuations in how a newly diagnosed senior with Parkinson’s may feel in the months ahead, there are many things that can be done to address challenging emotions and keep a positive outlook for the future. Here are some tips to help your loved one during such an emotional time.
Allow Time for Acceptance
Denial and depression are common emotional reactions to a new health diagnosis. Many seniors with Parkinson’s seek out second opinions or refuse to start treatment. They may avoid telling their family members or react with anger at the prospect of losing their current lifestyles. Although it’s important for aging adults with Parkinson’s to begin treatment as early as possible, it’s also crucial to avoid rushing through the emotional responses. As with the stages of grief, a newly diagnosed senior may need to work slowly through his or her emotions until reaching a new level of acceptance regarding the diagnosis.
Parkinson’s disease can be particularly difficult to manage, and both seniors and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to New Hampshire Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Create a Network of Support
Once older adults with Parkinson’s have come to terms with their diagnoses, they’ll need to seek support from a variety of different sources. For many seniors, their main sources of support will come from family and friends, who may find it challenging to handle their own emotions after learning someone close to them has been diagnosed with a progressive and chronic disease. Support groups can help seniors with Parkinson’s and their families meet other people who have learned how to address these feelings while providing insight into experience-based strategies for overcoming challenging emotions.
Your loved one may also get a great deal of benefit from having the assistance of a professional caregiver, who can provide information and emotional support. Families looking for top-rated home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. 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.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Seniors with Parkinson’s who implement healthy lifestyle changes shortly after being diagnosed can boost their emotional health while working to stave off the progression of the disease and enhance their long-term wellbeing. Research shows exercise can help aging adults reduce stress, enhance mood, and alleviate some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s, so it’s important to create a plan for regular physical activity. Walking, dancing, doing aerobics or yoga, and playing tennis or golf are excellent options because they require the body and the brain to work together simultaneously. In addition, seniors with Parkinson’s should be sure to add plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber to their diets to ease some of the symptoms associated with the condition.
Plan for the Future
Anxiety about the future is another common emotion that arises shortly after a diagnosis, so it can be helpful for seniors to make plans so they can look forward to living independently for as long as possible. Hiring a caregiver, making living arrangements, and establishing a plan for attending medical appointments can give aging adults with Parkinson’s and their loved ones a sense of control that generates more positive emotions.
Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. New Hampshire Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.