If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, there are likely many questions you want to ask the doctor, but you won’t necessarily learn everything you need to know about the disease right away. Vancouver, BC, elder care professionals share a few facts about Parkinson’s you and your loved one might not find out at the initial doctor’s visit.
Parkinson’s Can Also Cause Non-Motor Symptoms
Parkinson’s disease does not just affect movement and coordination. The disease can affect multiple body systems, leading to a wide range of symptoms that can vary from person to person, including:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep disturbances
- Oily skin and dandruff
The Right Diet Is Important
A healthy diet is especially crucial for seniors with Parkinson’s disease. Eating plenty of protein, minerals, and vitamins can help your loved one maintain bone and muscle strength, which can protect against falls and fractures. Increased fiber and fluid intake can also help fight the constipation often associated with Parkinson’s.
Not All Neurologists Specialize in Parkinson’s
Most seniors with Parkinson’s seek out a neurologist. Neurologists specialize in nervous system complications, but not all of them are experts in Parkinson’s. Look for a neurologist who also specializes in movement disorders. He or she will be in a better position to monitor the progress of your loved one’s disease and recommend the latest therapies directed at alleviating Parkinson’s symptoms.
Educating Yourself Can Make It Easier to Provide Care
As the disease progresses, learning as much as possible about your loved one’s condition can help you anticipate and adapt to his or her changing needs. Educate yourself about the physical and emotional symptoms of Parkinson’s as well as the medications your loved one takes and their potential side effects. Parkinson Canada and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research are both excellent resources for reliable information.
Finding the Right Treatment Takes Time
Parkinson’s treatments can have varying effects on different seniors. It is not uncommon to take several years to find the combination of medications that best manages a senior’s symptoms. Medications may also have to be adjusted at regular intervals to help manage new or worsening symptoms. Certain medications can even cause additional symptoms, such as involuntary movements and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
When managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s, seniors often encounter many challenges with daily activities. If your loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while living with Parkinson’s, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our part-time and 24-hour caregivers can assist with mobility and exercise, prepare nutritious meals, provide transportation to medical appointments, and help with a wide array of other important tasks. In addition to Parkinson’s care, we also offer specialized stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care Vancouver, BC, seniors and their families can count on. For more information on our in-home care services, please call one of our knowledgeable Case Managers at today.