Parkinson’s Disease can create new challenges that seniors and those who care for them must face together.
Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative neurological disease that is progressive in nature. Parkinson’s is more common in men than in women, and is also more common among older adults than younger ones. Genetics is also a risk factor when it comes to Parkinson’s, as individuals with a family member with Parkinson’s are more likely to develop the disease themselves.
The impacts that Parkinson’s Disease can have upon a seniors’ life are widespread and significant. Navigating the many changes and challenges that come along with this disease can be emotionally taxing, so support from loved-ones and caregivers is essential for seniors as they adjust to their new realities with Parkinson’s.
When it comes to Parkinson’s Disease, becoming aware and prepared for the changes that are coming can make a significant difference to how the adjustment process plays out. Symptoms of Parkinson’s can vary from one person to another, so research and consultation with healthcare professionals is incredibly important so that seniors and their caregivers have a good base of knowledge and aren’t overly surprised by the things that might come up as the disease progresses.
Making sure that you remain connected as you navigate the challenges that come with Parkinson’s Disease is important from a care perspective, but it is also important to hold on to strength of relationships. Some of the cognitive and speech changes that can come in later stages of Parkinson’s can make communication a little more challenging for some, but learning to adapt and keeping a healthy line of communication and connection is important for everyone involved, at all stages. When things get tough, it is important that seniors facing Parkinson’s don’t feel abandoned or isolated because of their disease.
Setting Up the Environment
The physical challenges that come along with Parkinson’s disease necessitate that thoughtful planning and arrangement take place in the home to make sure it is as safe, comfortable, and navigable for seniors as possible. Balance problems, tremors, stiffness, trouble walking, and other associated mobility issues may arise as the disease progresses, so making sure that the floor is clear and furniture is arranged in a proper and organized way is imperative to reduce fall risks and keep things safe. In terms of cognitive wellbeing, it may become increasingly challenging for seniors with Parkinson’s to process multiple streams of sensory input at the same time, so reducing elements such as background noise and other sensory elements that might become overwhelming to help keep a calmer state of mind and prevent seniors from freezing up and becoming unable to function.
When it comes to dealing with a disease like Parkinson’s, it can be incredibly helpful for both seniors facing the disease and those who care for them to seek out support as they work through the challenges that arise. Parkinson’s can be exhausting emotionally and physically for both those with the disease and those involved in care, and there are numerous support groups and resources available for those with Parkinson’s, family members of those with the disease, and care providers. Having a forum in which experiences and challenges can be shared, discussed, and talked through with people who are dealing with similar experiences can be so important for helping to maintain wellbeing and keeping heads above water. Whether it be a specialized Parkinson’s support group, a spiritual community, a strong group of friends, or a trusted group of healthcare professionals, support is always available and always important for everyone involved.
Assistance and Balance
Providing care to a loved-one can be rewarding, but it can also be draining. For families dealing with Parkinson’s, accessing services such as those offered through Retire-At-Home can be absolutely invaluable for making sure proper care is always available while also ensuring that the mental health and wellbeing of family caregivers is also being attended to.