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Parkinson’s Disease Care 101: Tips for Family Caregivers

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Many older individuals with Parkinson’s disease receive most of their care at home from loved ones, particularly during the course of the early levels of the disease. As a top provider of Parkinson’s care and Alzheimer’s care in San Antonio, TX, we at CareFor recognize the unique concerns experienced by family members who are care providers for a senior with Parkinson’s, and want you to know you’re not alone! We’re always on hand to offer care management and to work with you in ensuring your loved one receives the very best care at all times.

To start, it’s useful to keep these Parkinson’s-specific tips in mind:

  • Nutrition: A healthy diet helps reduce cell loss in a person with Parkinson’s. Consuming antioxidants, including those found in broccoli, blueberries, green tea, spinach, beans, and certain types of nuts, can help fend off oxidative stress.
  • Chewing/Swallowing: Those with Parkinson’s disease typically experience some level of difficulty with chewing and swallowing. Each person providing care for a loved one with Parkinson’s needs to learn the Heimlich maneuver to be prepared in the event the person begins to choke.
  • Fall Prevention: Those with Parkinson’s frequently have problems with walking and balance, so it’s imperative to assess the home environment and make alterations to lower the risk of falls. Installing items such as customized toilet seats and grab bars where appropriate, and eliminating obstacles in and around the home are a good place to get started.
  • Depression and/or Anxiety: Minimizing the risk for depression and anxiety is a top component in the battle against Parkinson’s. Closely monitor your loved one for evidence of depression, and if noticed, be sure he or she sees the doctor for an evaluation as soon as possible.
  • Medications: Parkinson’s disease treatments may have a number of side effects, and can affect the person in a multitude of ways. Some types of medicine can produce hallucinations or nightmares, for instance. Make sure your loved one’s doctor tells you about any anticipated side effects of medications so you can be prepared.

We invite you to explore CareFor’s professional Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s care in San Antonio and the surrounding areas to determine how respite care can lead to a better quality of life for both your loved one and the family members who are providing care. By working with our professional senior care team to help with some of the more routine aspects of caregiving, family members have the chance to spend more quality time together. Get in touch with us online or at (512) 338-4533 to learn more.