Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is a big life change for seniors and for the people who love them. Having the right support, both from home care services and family members, can be the key to helping seniors to respond to a Parkinson’s diagnosis as proactively as possible.
Learn as Much as Possible
There is a lot to learn about Parkinson’s disease, especially right after a new diagnosis. Seniors need to understand how their illness affects their overall health, how Parkinson’s is likely to progress, and what treatments are available. Having information can help seniors and family members to feel more confident about what the future might bring.
Prioritize Medical Appointments
Medical appointments for a new health issue are often scary for seniors. It’s important for seniors to attend all of these follow-up appointments as scheduled. Having a family caregiver with them can help to make these appointments less overwhelming. If family caregivers can’t attend, though, having senior care providers there for extra support can help quite a bit.
Explore How Exercise Can Help
In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, doctors may recommend an exercise plan. Moving more helps to improve balance, strength, and flexibility, all of which are important for Parkinson’s patients. Finding activities that seniors enjoy really helps them to stick with their new plan for moving more.
Create a Supportive Environment at Home
When seniors are facing a Parkinson’s diagnosis, it’s really important that their home environment is as supportive as possible on a regular basis. Removing tripping hazards, checking for other safety issues, and making home modifications is part of this. It can also help to have home care providers assisting seniors with tasks related to keeping the home clean and safe.
Keep Communication Open
Anyone dealing with health issues needs emotional support from the people they love. Family caregivers who live farther away might want to look for ways to help make communication easier with seniors. Listening when they need to talk and offering reassurance can be extremely helpful, especially when some days are more difficult.
Get Help with Daily Tasks
Daily tasks are always difficult when seniors are dealing with a new health diagnosis, especially one as potentially limiting as Parkinson’s disease can be. Help from home care providers to manage tasks like light housekeeping, preparing meals, handling transportation, and more can all make it easier for seniors to focus on what they need to do in order to be as healthy as possible. Caregivers can also help with transportation, particularly when driving becomes more difficult as the illness progresses.
Navigating a new diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is definitely going to take time and patience on everyone’s part. Getting help from home care providers and being as compassionate as possible with this new normal is a great way to start out. As everyone involved learns more about Parkinson’s disease and how to help the person who has Parkinson’s, it gets a lot easier to be more specific about how to make life as easy as possible.