What to Include in a Care Plan for a Loved One with Parkinson’s

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When taking care of an elderly parent with Parkinson’s, developing a high-quality care plan should be your first task. The plan is a document of actions, duties, needs, and contacts that can help you and other family caregivers manage the disease and boost your loved one’s quality of life. Here are some of the tasks and situations you need to plan for when caring for a senior loved one with Parkinson’s.

Acceptable Foods

Although there’s no specific diet associated with Parkinson’s, there are foods that can reduce its symptoms and boost overall wellbeing. Include these nutritional needs in your loved one’s care plan. For instance, dairy products can negatively affect oxidation levels and make the symptoms more persistent. Therefore, your loved one needs to avoid eating dairy products and choose to take calcium supplements to make up for the loss of the mineral. The best foods for aging adults with Parkinson’s are:

• Fatty fish
• Beans 
• Flaxseed 
• Nuts 
• Blueberries 
• Eggplant
• Spinach
• Kale 
• Cranberries
• Peppers
• Tomatoes

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 everyday activities, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care services. 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.

Stimulating Activities

Understanding the symptoms associated with the disease can help you develop a list of stimulating activities that boost cognition, motor functions, and mental health. For example, when brushing his or her teeth or shaving, your loved one should be sitting down to reduce the risk of tremors. Exercise is also essential, so the plan should include activities that keep the muscles flexible and reduce stiffness. To ease rigidity and reduce freezing, physical therapy sessions should be included in the care plan as well. Depression is common in seniors with Parkinson’s, but music, art, and animal-related activities can be therapeutic, reducing anxiety and staving off depression. List your loved one’s interests and plan his or her activities accordingly.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Montgomery seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Medication Necessities

Although there’s no current cure for Parkinson’s, there are medicines that can ease its symptoms. The medications can be adjusted periodically based on the symptoms of the condition and the side effects of the drugs. The timing of the prescriptions can be critical to the treatment plan, which is why you need to put medication management at the top of your list. Forgetting to take the right dosage at the right time or skipping dosages altogether could seriously interfere with treatment management and cause tremors, behavioral challenges, slow movements, and speech problems to worsen.

Goals

The Parkinson’s care plan you develop should include realistic goals regarding your parent’s health and the expectations for you and other family caregivers. For instance, if you want to treat swallowing problems and the loss of automatic movements or slow the progression of the disease, list the steps you plan to take and set a realistic timeline based on Parkinson’s statistics and recommendations from your loved one’s medical providers. Your list should also include the expectations for every family caregiver as well as close friends who have volunteered to help out with your loved one’s care.

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, a Montgomery senior home 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. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (334) 593-3988.

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