Parkinson’s disease is well-known for its movement or motor-related symptoms such as tremors, abnormally slow movements, shaking or lack of facial expression, involuntary movements, or freezing, but it also has non-motor symptoms such as apathy, depression, sleep behavior disorders, loss of sense of smell, and cognitive impairment. Because of the disease’s diversity, symptoms often emerge slowly over the years, and the course of symptoms might differ from person to person.
Here are four major areas when caring for a Parkinson’s sufferer at home:
1. Medication administration
Taking medicine on a daily basis keeps muscles from stiffening. Medication and dosages may alter as the condition advances. Caregivers are sometimes the first to detect indicators that medications aren’t functioning as well as they used to and can encourage a visit to the doctor. Maintain a calendar documenting Parkinson’s disease progression and medical trips. Take note of when you first noticed symptoms and when you started taking a particular medicine. People with Parkinson’s may require greater assistance staying on top of doctor’s appointments and drug reminders as the condition develops.
2. A nutritious diet
Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet helps lower the risk of acquiring co-morbidities such as heart disease or diabetes, which can have a detrimental influence on the quality of life. Constipation is a side effect of Parkinson’s disease, so eat plenty of fiber. Another negative effect is osteoporosis (fragile bones), therefore obtaining lots of calcium. Because some Parkinson’s drugs cannot be effectively absorbed with protein, avoid eating them within 3-4 hours of taking them. Tougher foods or snacks, such as crackers, are chosen over moist, soft foods. If eating is difficult, spread out more light meals throughout the day rather than three large meals.
Exercise is very crucial for increasing mobility, stamina, mood, and overall quality of life. According to research, increasing physical activity to at least 2.5 hours per week can slow the loss of quality of life. To enhance year-round mobility, many persons with Parkinson’s disease relocate to places with temperate weather. Caregivers can help people stay active while still adhering to prescribed physical therapy exercises, occupational therapy, daily living modifications or adaptations, and speech exercises. Gait and balance training, resistance training, and regular exercise can all be included.
4. Emotional assistance
Recognize that there will be bad days. Dealing with functional loss can be difficult and upsetting, but caregivers can assist. Finding workarounds can enable patients with Parkinson’s disease to participate in their favorite hobbies. Allowing someone with Parkinson’s disease to maintain independence for as long as possible is crucial, but as the condition develops, some daily activities may require some support. Hand tremors have a negative impact on daily hygiene, therefore use an electronic toothbrush instead of a manual one. Similarly, an electric razor is preferable to a manual razor. Stand-up showers are significantly easier to use than tubs, and shower stools are also useful. Choose clothes that are easier to put on, such as elastic waistbands and Velcro, rather than buttons and laces.
A great quality of life with Parkinson’s is feasible because of a comprehensive treatment that involves drugs, frequent exercise, and adjustments for daily living activities.