Once diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, seniors must work with their healthcare providers to determine medications and treatment plans to best manage the symptoms. For seniors who prefer a more natural approach to alleviating their symptoms, there are also several lifestyle changes that can make living with Parkinson’s disease more tolerable.
1. Follow a Healthy Diet
While there’s no specific diet recommended for seniors with Parkinson’s, certain foods contain nutrients that are good for maintaining overall health. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are high in fiber. When combined with a sufficient amount of liquids, these food choices prevent constipation, which is a common issue for seniors with Parkinson’s. Foods rich in B complex vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for nerve function.
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 elderly 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.
2. Engage in Physical Activity
Getting some type of regular exercise strengthens muscles while enhancing balance and flexibility. Exercise also stimulates the production and release of adrenaline, dopamine, and endorphins, which are chemical compounds that combat fatigue, diminish pain, and elevate mood. Dopamine also reduces some Parkinson’s symptoms. The exercise doesn’t need to be extremely strenuous. Your loved one can simply take walks and make a conscious effort to maintain as normal a gait as possible. Some seniors may be able to dance, garden, or swim. Water aerobics is a wonderful means of stretching without putting pressure on the joints.
3. Try Art or Music Therapy
When seniors with Parkinson’s feel angry, frustrated, or stressed, muscle tension can exacerbate symptoms. Creating art projects, listening to music, or playing an instrument can provide a sense of relaxation and peace. Muscle relaxation encourages the reduction of Parkinson’s symptoms and boosts a senior’s mood and overall wellbeing.
4. Take Coenzyme Q10
Some studies suggest taking CoQ10 may benefit some seniors with Parkinson’s. CoQ10 is necessary for the production of ATP, which fuels cells, and it also acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from the aging and damage caused by free radicals. The chemical compound is also thought to protect and stabilize cell membranes. However, seniors may need to take this supplement for 12 to 16 months before experiencing noticeable benefits. Seniors should consult their doctors before taking any medications.
5. Apply Essential Oils
Certain fragrant oils have been shown to have a calming effect and reduce Parkinson’s symptoms. Some seniors report the oils also relieve depression and enhance sleep. Frankincense and helichrysum oils decrease inflammation within the brain, and vetiver oil can reduce tremors. Seniors simply need to massage a couple of drops of essential oil on their temples and neck twice each day. A few frankincense drops can also be applied to the roof of the mouth.
Applying essential oils, preparing nutritious meals, and managing other tasks can be difficult for aging adults with Parkinson’s disease. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior care. Huntsville families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
6. Perform Tai Chi
This popular Chinese martial art involves making slow rhythmic movements. Studies show engaging in tai chi helps seniors with Parkinson’s maintain balance, focus, overall strength, and range of motion. The practice also relieves anxiety and depression while reducing the risk of falls. Encourage your loved one to practice tai chi for one hour twice a week or as instructed by his or her physician.
Parkinson’s disease is one of the many diseases that can impair a senior’s overall quality of life. 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 24-hour care. Huntsville seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (256) 716-9940 today.