Caring for a senior with Parkinson’s disease will involve both good and bad days. You need to remain positive and look for ways to simplify your caregiver responsibilities without compromising your loved one’s safety. Here are some tips to use when caring for an aging loved one with Parkinson’s disease.
1. Manage Drooling
Drooling is one of the non-movement symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, and it can cause awkwardness. The issue could begin with drooling on a pillow during sleep and lead to outpours of saliva, causing seniors and caregivers to feel uneasy about going into social settings. However, wearing a sweatband on your wrist to discreetly wipe off the saliva is one solution. You can also give your loved one gum to activate the jawbone and automatic swallowing reflexes.
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 homecare. 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.
2. Prepare Healthy Meals
Nutrition is vital to the health of seniors with Parkinson’s because it prevents anorexia, which is common in individuals living with this disorder. The biggest reason older adults diagnosed with Parkinson’s don’t eat is because of swallowing difficulties caused by the inability to control the throat and mouth muscles. Serve more semi-solid foods, and encourage your loved one to eat small bites and chew food thoroughly before swallowing.
3. Create a Calendar
To slow the progression of Parkinson’s, seniors need to attend their doctor appointments, remember to take their medications, eat nutritious meals, and participate in physical activities. Skipping any of these things could harm your loved one’s health. By creating a schedule, you can keep important dates, times, tasks, and events organized. Download a scheduling app that allows you and other family caregivers to cross-reference your loved one’s schedule and prevent you all from doubling up on the same task or forgetting a necessary appointment.
4. Use Respite Care
As your loved one’s Parkinson’s progresses, you may be needed throughout the day and during the night. Providing around-the-clock care can be stressful and exhausting, which is why you need to reach out to family and close friends for assistance. If this isn’t a viable option, look into other choices, such as respite care. Most home care agencies offer respite care for different needs, including Parkinson’s. These agencies screen and train their caregivers, ensuring that while you receive temporary relief, your loved one will be provided with high-quality care.
Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Allentown families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
5. Focus on the Positives
Fearing the disease prevents you from enjoying precious time with your loved one. While you should try to learn as much about Parkinson’s as possible, try to focus on the now. Your loved one should get the treatment he or she needs and make smart lifestyle choices, but you two shouldn’t worry about the what-ifs. One day may be more challenging than the next, but you have to look for the positives in the situation. Maintaining a good attitude can boost your loved one’s mental and emotional health.
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, an Allentown senior 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 484-350-3874 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.