When an aging parent is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, families prepare for the challenges that will come throughout the course of the disease. However, what many do not realize is how difficult it will be for their loved one to carry out even the simplest daily activities. One of the main symptoms of Parkinson’s, a loss of dexterity in the hands, can leave a senior fumbling for items, whether it be a credit card at the checkout counter or a fork to enjoy a meal.
Although it can be difficult for you to watch your loved one experience these physical changes, Home Care Assistance of Columbus wants to reassure you that there are some exercises that can help your loved one preserve and maintain his or her dexterity.
- Hand Flexing – Have your loved one put their hands in front of their face and bring each finger in to touch the thumb. Have them increase the speed at which they touch their fingers to their thumbs. Your loved one will increase their coordination and be able to regain some of their lost dexterity with this simple exercise.
- Write With Opposite Hand – Try to challenge your loved one to write with the other hand. Help them think of a letter or message that they can write either to themselves or someone else. Writing with the opposite hand forces your loved one to be focused, balanced, and coordinated with their hand. It’s almost like they are learning to write all over again and can help promote dexterity.
- Play Piano – Learning how to play the piano can be a great activity for increasing hand and finger dexterity, and can also keep someone sharp mentally and lighten their mood. Consider purchasing a small keyboard and having a music teacher visit your loved one once a week to help teach them basic scales and songs. Not only will you notice a change in your loved one’s dexterity, but a happier individual as well.
So why it is it important to help a loved one maintain as much dexterity as possible as the disease progresses? As mentioned earlier, dexterity plays a large role in one’s abilities to perform daily activities. When dexterity is lost, it can feel like some independence is lost as well.
While you can help your loved one by leading them through these simple and effective exercises, you can also seek help from Home Care Assistance Columbus. Our experienced and compassionate caregivers proudly provide Parkinson’s care in Columbus and surrounding communities. They can help seniors with daily dexterity and therapy exercises while also assisting with cooking meals, light housekeeping, medication reminders and more. Find out if a Home Care Assistance caregiver is right for your loved one by calling 614-481-8888 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager.