A Parkinson’s diagnosis often leaves family members confused and unsure of how to move forward with their senior loved one’s care. While planning for long-term care and outside assistance will be necessary, families should also look into therapy programs. There are many therapy programs available that are specifically designed to help seniors with Parkinson’s maintain and enhance their motor skills and physical and cognitive abilities.
Active Physical Therapy
The shuffling movements associated with Parkinson’s disease may be minimized with active physical therapy, which simply refers to any type of therapeutic physical exercise that involves active participation. Physical therapists help people with Parkinson’s continue to exercise and stay active. Contrary to popular belief, exercise can help seniors maintain their physical abilities. Physical therapists can suggest exercises and stretches that help seniors accomplish specific goals, increase balance, and minimize pain. When seniors perform recommended exercises on a regular basis, they’ll be able to enjoy their independence as long as possible. Seniors with Parkinson’s often benefit from active physical therapy, which may include:
- Rhythmic arm and leg movements
- Balance exercises that target muscles in the lower body
- Stretching routines to keep hip flexors, hamstrings, and calf muscles flexible
- Resistance exercises using light dumbbells or resistance bands
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 at-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.
Aquatic (Water-Based) Therapy
If your loved one is having difficulty with land-based exercises targeting the core muscle groups, he or she may benefit from aquatic therapy. Because of the natural buoyancy of water, the muscle groups that need to be stimulated to reduce the impact of movement limitations can be targeted in a way that’s not as stressful on joints and soft tissues.
Therapeutic movements done in water can also help with balance and coordination. Your loved one may even notice improvements with mood and reduced mental stress and anxiety. Water-based therapy may involve:
- Water walking
- Water aerobics
Seniors with Parkinson’s may find it difficult to execute simple daily tasks, such as cooking, doing laundry, or getting in and out of the shower safely. An occupational therapist can help by suggesting easier ways to complete tasks, changes that could make the home more accessible, and equipment or aids that might be helpful. Seeing an occupational therapist regularly can also help a senior manage changes as the disease progresses.
Seniors living with serious health conditions often need extensive assistance in and outside the home. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of Montgomery live-in care. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with bathing, grooming, light housekeeping, and various other daily tasks, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Older adults with Parkinson’s often find it difficult to speak clearly, which can be frustrating for both seniors and their family caregivers. A speech therapist can work with the senior to enhance slurred and unsteady speech by suggesting speech exercises, helping with facial control, and recommending various communication aids. Speech therapy can also strengthen the vocal cords and muscles in the neck and throat, minimizing problems with swallowing and eating.
People with Parkinson’s may be able to maintain their functional independence with art-based therapies. There’s research suggesting artistic activities such as painting, sculpting, and drawing could contribute to enhancements in:
- Mood and self-confidence
- Creativity and the ability to express feelings and emotions
- Fine motor skills
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 senior care. Montgomery, AL, 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. Whether your parent needs minor help with daily tasks or extensive 24-hour care, give us a call at (334) 593-3988 today.