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Addressing the Early Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

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Parkinson’s can be a difficult condition to manage. However, with support from a loving caregiver, seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s can maintain their quality of life. Here are a few ways caregivers can address the early stages of this disease. 

Seek Specialized Care

If your senior loved one is in the early stages of Parkinson’s, you may want to investigate specialized treatment options. Your loved one may benefit greatly from physical therapists, speech therapists, or movement disorder specialists. These professionals are trained to mitigate Parkinson’s symptoms, and they may help your loved one maintain his or her motor skills, speech abilities, and independence for longer. 

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated home care agency. Lincoln Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

Create Cues

One of the early symptoms of Parkinson’s is muscle freezing. When this happens, seniors with Parkinson’s suddenly feel their muscles seize up while they’re walking. This muscular freeze often occurs as people get close to obstacles like doorways. To counteract freezing, create a system of cues. Some seniors find it helpful to picture an object on the floor they need to step over. Placing a piece of masking tape on the floor may be a helpful visual cue, especially in the beginning. Other seniors like to count out loud in time with their steps, which creates an easy-to-follow marching rhythm. 

Encourage Exercising

A senior recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s may not be interested in trips to the gym. However, it’s important to maintain a regular exercise regimen, as it enhances muscle coordination and provides greater control over all facets of the body. Bradykinesia, the inhibited motions that are a symptom of Parkinson’s, are difficult to manage in the early stages of the disease. Staying as coordinated as possible through cardio and balance-based exercises like yoga can minimize inhibited motions. 

Engaging in physical activity is beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s disease, but it can be overwhelming at times. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care provider Lincoln, NE, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Flex the Hands

Perhaps the most visible symptom of early Parkinson’s is hand shaking. When seniors experience hand tremors, they often allow them to continue unabated. This is understandable, as it can be extremely difficult to move body parts that are shaking due to Parkinson’s. When your loved one experiences hand tremors, gently help flex his or her hands.

Provide Posture Support 

Another early symptom of Parkinson’s is the forward lean, where seniors tilt forward as they walk or stand. This is due to postural instability, and the best way to combat this symptom is by strengthening the legs and core muscles. Give your loved one a helping hand, whether this means providing support to stand straight or while performing strength exercises. 

Keep Track of Emotional Health

Parkinson’s impacts the brain in many ways. Many researchers believe the neurological changes caused by the condition make seniors more susceptible to depression. Watch for changes in your loved one’s mood or behavior, and seek professional help if he or she shows signs of depression or anxiety.

After receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis, seniors can benefit from receiving comprehensive Parkinson’s care. Lincoln seniors can trust in the caregivers at Home Care Assistance to help them manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s and maintain a high quality of life. If your loved one wants to age in the comfort of home, call us at (402) 261-5158 today.