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How to Take Care of a Person With Parkinson Disease

How to Take Care of a Person With Parkinson Disease

Parkinson Disease is a form of dementia wherein aside from cognitive decline, the person’s motor functions are also affected. Because of this, knowing how to take care of a person with Parkinson Disease is especially important because of the extra needs that they have.

If you’re going to take care of someone with Parkinson Disease, be sure to take note of the tips below:

How to Take Care of a Person with Parkinson Disease

Taking care of a person with Parkinson Disease might sound daunting at first. After all, people with Parkinson have difficulty moving, so they usually need extra care and attention.

But by following our simple guide below, you can be sure that your loved one will stay healthy, comfortable, and have a good quality of life.

Make sure that they have a safe living space

If they’re going to live with you, this means that you might need to make certain adjustments the way your home is set up.

First, you need to make sure that your home has working fire alarms to alert you and anyone else in the house. This is because people with Parkinson might not be able to move on their own, so you need to be awake and alert, and be ready to help them in case there’s an emergency.

Second, it would be best to give them a device that they can use to call your attention, such as a bell. This is especially helpful if they’re having a hard time speaking, and they need help with something.

how to take care of a person with Parkinson disease

If your house has stairs, then it would be a good idea to install handrails. These help keep stability while climbing up and can help prevent falls. But as much as possible, their room should be on the first floor.

The flooring should be level as they may have difficulty navigating differences in terrain. Having non-slip matting on tiled floor also helps reduce the risk of falls.

It’s also recommended to add rails to the bathroom to avoid falls and accidents.

Plan their daily activities

Having a daily routine helps give structure to the lives of patients who have Parkinson Disease.

Make sure they have a set waking time and sleeping time every day. It’s also important to have set meal hours, and to have periods of activity in between, such as exercise, listening to music, or even watching films.

This helps make things less monotonous and helps ensure that they have something to do every day.

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Don’t disregard exercise

Even if some forms of physical activity are difficult for people with Parkinson, it’s important to make sure they get enough exercise every day.

The exercise doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, even little things such as stretching, moving their legs up and down, doing yoga or pilates, can help ensure that they remain healthy and active.

Exercise might not reverse Parkinson but it does help in making patients feel healthy overall.

Help them with eating or drinking

Some patients with Parkinson Disease can have difficulty eating and drinking by themselves. They might not be able to hold their spoon and fork anymore, so they need assistance during mealtime.

This means that you will be the one to help them out. Make sure that the food they’re eating is cut into small pieces, and that they can readily chew the food.

It’s also important to not go too fast or too slow when feeding them. Be sure that they’ve chewed and swallowed the food completely before giving the next bite. This can feel a bit tedious, but it is important to make sure your loved one is fed well and is healthy.

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Don’t neglect their mental health

Lastly, their mental health is very important. Being diagnosed with Parkinson is a difficult thing. It can be very frustrating for them to lose their ability to do certain things or take care of themselves.

So it’s important to be mindful of how your loved one is feeling. Talk to them often and engage them in conversation. Ask them how they feel, and what you can do to make them feel more comfortable.

If needed, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you feel that your loved one needs to undergo therapy.

Learn more about Parkinson Disease here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

How to Adapt Your Home If You Have Parkinson’s | Johns Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/parkinsons-disease/how-to-adapt-your-home-if-you-have-parkinsons, Accessed January 14, 2021

Parkinson’s Disease and Caregiving | Family Caregiver Alliance, https://www.caregiver.org/parkinsons-disease-caregiving, Accessed January 14, 2021

Special Challenges of Caring for Someone with Parkinson’s | Parkinson’s Foundation, https://www.parkinson.org/Living-with-Parkinsons/For-Caregivers/Beginning-Your-Journey-with-Parkinsons/Special-Challenges-of-Caring-for-Someone-with-Parkinsons, Accessed January 14, 2021

10 Steps for Caring for a Person with Parkinson’s Dementia | Parkinson’s Foundation, https://www.parkinson.org/blog/research/10-Steps-Dementia, Accessed January 14, 2021

CARING for your patient with Parkinson’s, https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/sites/default/files/2017-12/b030_caringforyourpatientwithparkinsons_0.pdf, Accessed January 14, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara on Jan 15
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