During the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, the majority of a person’s care can be provided in the home from family caregivers. However, Parkinson’s can present some unique challenges for caregivers. The following are some tips to help family members provide better care for their loved ones.
Nutrition: A well-balanced diet helps reduce cell loss in a person with Parkinson’s. Consuming antioxidants, like those found in blueberries, broccoli, spinach, green tea, beans, and certain nuts, can also help fight oxidative stress.
Chewing/Swallowing: People with Parkinson’s often experience difficulties chewing and swallowing. Anyone caring for a person with Parkinson’s should learn the Heimlich Maneuver in case the person begins to choke.
Fall Prevention: Parkinson’s patients often have a difficult time walking and balancing, so it is important to modify the home environment in order to prevent the risk of falling. Installing items like customized toilet seats and grab bars where appropriate, and removing obstructions throughout the home such as doorsills and throw rugs, is a good start.
Anxiety and Depression: Combating depression and anxiety is a large part of the Parkinson’s battle. Watch your loved one closely for signs of depression, and have him or her diagnosed as soon as possible.
Medications: Parkinson’s medications can have multiple side effects and can affect a person in different ways. Some medications may cause hallucinations or nightmares, for example. Be sure your care recipient’s physician tells you about all the expected side effects of medications so you know what to expect.
While Parkinson’s disease does alter a person’s life, steps can be taken to ensure that your loved one maintains a high quality of life. If you need some expert assistance, contact Regency Home Care of Atlanta, Georgia. We can provide the home care solutions required to ensure your loved one remains safe, happy, and healthy at home.