If your senior loved one is among the 7 to 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s disease, the focus will be on treating symptoms to boost his or her overall quality of life. While your loved one’s doctor is likely to provide useful information, some important considerations are often left out of such conversations. Here are a handful of things the physician might not tell you and your loved one about Parkinson’s.
1. Drug Side Effects Can Be as Bad as Symptoms Related to the Disease
Most individuals with Parkinson’s are treated with a combination of the drugs carbidopa and levodopa to manage tremors. Many take additional drugs to treat symptoms, which may result in unexpected side effects that can include:
- Chronic insomnia
- Uncontrolled repetitive movements
- Obsessive-compulsive behaviors
- Urinary problems
- Lack of appetite
Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease can live at home, but they may need assistance from family members or other caregivers to do so safely. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Columbus, OH, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
2. It Takes Time to Find the Right Treatments
The process of finding an effective combination of treatments for your loved one could take several months or even years. It’s often a trial-and-error process that can include unexpected symptoms and several medication adjustments.
3. Neurologists Aren’t Necessarily Parkinson’s Specialists
Not all neurologists have the additional training required to address issues specific to Parkinson’s. The Michael J. Fox Foundation offers advice on how to find a neurologist specializing in movement disorders on its website.
4. Exercise & Physical Therapy Can Be Beneficial
One study suggests exercising two to four times a week can be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s. Studies also suggest physical therapy may increase coordination and stability.
Your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with exercise and everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
5. Not All Parkinson’s Symptoms Are Neurological
Tremors and other neurological symptoms aren’t the only issues seniors with Parkinson’s may face at some point. Non-motor symptoms may include:
- Problems with speech
- Difficulty swallowing
- Mood changes
- Sleep issues
6. Support Groups Can Be a Much-Appreciated Resource
Being around people in the same age group can help seniors address concerns doctors often don’t consider. For instance, a support group for older adults with Parkinson’s may discuss seniors’ concerns about not being able to interact with their grandchildren in the same ways they used to.
Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging, especially in its final stages, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Columbus Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (614) 481-8888 today.