How Is an Aging Adult’s Social Activity Affected by Parkinson’s?

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The symptoms that manifest during the course of Parkinson’s disease commonly interfere with a senior’s social life. Being aware of the pitfalls enables family members to ensure their older loved one doesn’t live an isolated life. A little planning and communication can alleviate some of the problems.

Depression

Statistics indicate between 20 and 45 percent of seniors with Parkinson’s have depression, which often manifests before physical symptoms become apparent. Depression may occur secondary to the chemical changes that occur in the brain. Seniors might also feel down due to the physical challenges they experience on a daily basis. When feeling depressed, older adults are less likely to make an effort to be social. However, few may realize depression has also been known to exacerbate physical symptoms. Exercise, massage, meditation, and relaxation techniques are some of the ways seniors with Parkinson’s can alleviate the symptoms associated with the mood disorder.

At some point, your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver, who can provide companionship and help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated homecare 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.

Fatigue

Seniors with Parkinson’s often tire easily due to the toll the disease process takes on the body. When feeling tired, they’re less likely to find any social activity enticing. They may not sleep well at night, which also leads to daytime fatigue. Make sure your loved one’s bedroom has a relaxing atmosphere that encourages restful sleep. Bedding should be comfortable, and window dressings should block light. A warm bath or shower before bed may alleviate muscle tension and stress. Offer pain medications if needed. Engaging in some form of exercise routinely during the day has been proven to prepare the body for a good night’s sleep. If planning an outing during the day, allow for rest breaks along the way if needed. Be mindful of outdoor temperatures, as seniors with Parkinson’s often overheat easily.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to manage, 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 Amarillo 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.

Low Self-Confidence

The uncontrollable tics, tremors, and spastic movements often make seniors with Parkinson’s self-conscious. As the disorder progresses, walking becomes more difficult. In time, speech becomes slow and forming intelligible words becomes difficult. All the visible symptoms may dissuade your loved one from desiring to be out in public. Plan outings in accordance with medication peak times. This way, symptoms may be somewhat reduced. Exercise often minimizes peripheral symptoms. Working with a speech therapist helps older adults retain their speaking abilities for as long as possible. You can play an important role in boosting your parent’s self-confidence by offering reassurance and ongoing support.

Neglected Relationships

As Parkinson’s progresses and physical symptoms become more prominent, seniors often become lax in their relationships with friends or family members out of embarrassment. However, you must encourage your loved one to maintain friendships and family bonds. Your loved one can start by explaining why he or she hasn’t kept in touch. Encourage sharing the diagnosis and the possible difficulties he or she is experiencing. Your loved one may be surprised at the love and understanding others are willing to provide.

Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they’ll likely need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. For many seniors in Amarillo, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (806) 803-9991.