As a trusted Parkinson’s care provider in Vancouver, our caregivers know that regular exercise not only helps seniors manage Parkinson’s symptoms as the disease progresses, but it can also give them a better sense of wellbeing, not to mention a much-appreciated boost of self-confidence. Research further supports the importance of regular exercise for seniors with Parkinson’s disease citing the following benefits.
Increasing Ability to Handle Symptoms
Symptoms of Parkinson’s change as the disease progresses. However, regular exercise can help seniors with PD perform daily activities like climbing steps or going for a casual walk around their neighborhood with greater stability. Regular exercise may even help with Parkinson’s-related tremors and similar issues with motor coordination.
Slowing Disease Progression
Parkinson’s disease has been linked to a problem with the ability of the brain to produce a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which can affect motor control. Research suggests that exercise may release certain chemicals that can help improve communication between neurons in the brain, effectively slowing the progression of the disease in some patients.
Maintaining Joint Mobility
Many seniors with Parkinson’s experience some degree of muscle and joint stiffness. Regular exercise can help build up the strength of muscles and tendons supporting the joints, giving seniors with PD better control over their gross motor skills (walking, controlled movements) while also helping to control inflammation.
Regular exercise can also help seniors with Parkinson’s deal with stress through the release of endorphins, essentially producing a natural high. What this does is help seniors maintain a positive attitude and avoid bouts of depression that can make it more difficult to live with Parkinson’s.
Studies suggest that Parkinson’s patients tend to benefit more from exercises that vary movements, possibly because multiple muscle groups are targeted in a way that improves overall coordination. Seniors are encouraged to start slow and report any extreme discomfort or worsening of PD symptoms to their doctor.
For more information about caring for a senior loved one with Parkinson’s or to learn about Parkinson’s care services nearest you, reach out to Vancouver Home Care Assistance and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with one of our friendly Case Managers. We’re here to help 24/7.