Parkinson’s disease affects a person’s central nervous system; it’s defined as a progressive neurological disorder. Parkinson’s mainly arises in the elderly population. Right now there isn’t a cure for this debilitating disease which results in shaking, muscle rigidity and reduced movement.
There are prescription medications for Parkinson’s patients to slow the progression of the disease. Some nutritional changes have also been found to be beneficial.
1. Bone thinning is an issue with Parkinson’s patients. To help combat this problem, your elderly loved one should have a diet packed with calcium, vitamin K, vitamin D and magnesium. These minerals and vitamins help strengthen bone and slow bone thinning. Foods that are high in these essential nutrients include:
- Green vegetables
- Fortified cereals
- Dairy products
- Daily exercise and weight-bearing routines are also recommended
2. Dehydration becomes a concern as a result of the Parkinson’s medications. Dehydration causes confusion, weakness and poor balance. Your loved one should constantly drink water and strive to have at least 8 glasses a day. It’s important to drink with meals as well as throughout the entire day.
3. Bowel difficulties are a common result of the disease and the medication. The elderly person should have a diet high in fiber and fruits as well as vegetables. There are fiber supplements available but it’s always a good idea to eat the original food instead because supplements can cause dehydration unless even more water is consumed. A doctor should be consulted before the addition of any supplements to the diet.
4. Unexpected weight loss as a result of depression, loss of appetite or nausea. It’s recommended to maintain a healthy weight with regular exercise accompanied by a healthy diet. Malnutrition is a concern.
How a home care provider can help
As the disease progresses it will become increasingly difficult for your loved one to function on her own and complete all the personal care and home care tasks that are required while living in her own home. The shakiness and weakness will make things like bathing and sweeping floors difficult to do. A caregiver can help take care of the things like that.
You want to support her desire to in age in her own home because you know that’s where she would be the happiest. Research studies support the fact that seniors who age at home are the happiest and live the longest and healthiest. There’s so much a caregiver can do to help your loved one be happy and healthy living at home.
As well as your parent getting the help she needs, you also can enjoy peace of mind knowing she is being taken care of when you’re not able to be there in person.
If you have an aging loved one who needs professional elderly care, or are considering home care services for yourself call Harmony Home Health and talk to our care staff. They will be attentive to your situation, and provide clear and immediate options to help you deal with the difficulties you face. Harmony Home Health provides services for the greater Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado Counties including: Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay, Roseville, Cameron Park, Placerville and surrounding areas. For more information and a FREE assessment CALL(916) 414-9100.