Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects an individual’s ability to control their physical movements. As the disorder is progressive, the symptoms worsen over time. Soon, your loved ones will find themselves experiencing effects such as difficulty walking, involuntary shaking, muscle stiffness, and unbalance. Considering these effects can lead to severe injuries like brain damage and falls, Parkinson’s disease is extremely dangerous and can hinder your loved ones from being independent. If you’re taking care of loved ones with Parkinson’s disease, here are some care tips and tricks.
Safety-Proof the Living Space
The living space should always provide a safe, secure, and comfortable living environment for your loved ones. As such, maximizing the safety of the home and making it more accessible for your loved ones should be a top priority. Listed below are some ways you can safety-proof the living space:
- If it’s possible, the entryways and pathways should be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or other walking devices.
- Floorings should be carpeted in order to decrease the likelihood of falls. The entire floor space should also be clutter-free, and any rugs should be disposed of. If you want to place rugs around the house, replace them with anti-slip mats.
- Make sure the house has sufficient lighting for optimum visibility. Both floor and table lamps should be placed in a safe corner, where the light switches are within easy reach and the cords do not get tangled up, which can pose a hazard.
- In the best scenario, the house should be minimally decorated as loved ones are more able to navigate around.
Since loved ones with Parkinson’s disease lack the motor skills to hold up their utensils, mealtimes can prove a challenge. Fortunately, there are utensils that are specially designed just for Parkinson’s disease patients, featuring a padded or built-up handle that is easy to grasp. The knives also have a curved blade, so your loved ones can simply cut their foods with a rocking motion. For the serving plates and bowls, we recommend going with one that has high sides to make it more convenient for loved ones to scoop their foods. All these gestures may seem little, but they do encourage your loved ones to self-feed. In more severe cases, caregivers are required to feed loved ones. If this is so, the feeding process should be done in a dignified and patient manner.
Improve Physical Health
Being physically engaged is important for everyone of all ages, but especially so for loved ones who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Considering that the disorder mostly affects physical health, your loved ones should receive adequate fitness exercises in order to stay fit and healthy. Muscle therapy is popular among patients as it aids in relieving stress and other symptoms like spasms and cramps. You can also get your hands on heating pads as they work wonders in soothing painful muscles. For exercises, try keeping them light in intensity. Short walks, mild aerobic routines, and hand exercises are recommended.