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Early Symptoms of Parkinson’s & How to Address Them

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Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease can be difficult for seniors, but family caregivers can help their aging loved ones adjust to the new challenges. Addressing the symptoms early on can help seniors manage the disease better over time. Take a look at some of the things family caregivers can do to ease the early symptoms of Parkinson’s. 

Simplify Communication Methods 

In the early stages of the disease, seniors may experience voice changes, such as slurred speech and soft, hoarse, and breathy tones. Forming sounds correctly may become challenging for your loved one, but simplifying your communication methods could make it easier. Your loved one may also experience cramped handwriting due to tremors and muscle stiffness. Remain patient and encourage your loved one to take speech therapy. Other ways to ease communication include:

  • Sitting face to face when speaking
  • Asking basic questions
  • Following up when you don’t understand
  • Encouraging your loved one to speak slowly 
  • Limiting distractions
  • Being creative and using pictures, gestures, and shorthand or nonverbal codes 

When seniors develop Parkinson’s disease, their families are not always able to provide the care they need and deserve. Omaha, Nebraska, Parkinson’s care experts are available around the clock to help seniors maintain a high quality of life while managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s, allowing families to enjoy greater peace of mind.

Plan Meals 

Eating healthy meals can help seniors address the early symptoms of Parkinson’s, including low blood pressure and constipation. Your loved one’s doctor will likely develop a treatment plan that includes medications. Some of these prescriptions could cause side effects, but eating a well-balanced diet and adjusting the time and composition of meals could help the medications work and reduce the risk of side effects. Another early symptom of Parkinson’s that seniors typically experience is uncontrollable movements during sleep. However, consuming healthy meals full of nutrients and spices like turmeric and yellow mustard and drinking tonic water that contains quinine can ease muscle cramping, especially during the night when medications begin to wear off. 

Encourage Exercise

Establishing physical exercise routines in the early stages of Parkinson’s is essential to the overall management of the disease. Limb stiffness, stooped posture, and slow movement are some of the early symptoms associated with this disease, but building up to regular physical activities and exercises can help seniors maintain and increase their balance, flexibility, and mobility. Exercise can also ease constipation and depression. 

Some of the best exercises to ease the early symptoms of Parkinson’s include:

  • Running
  • Biking 
  • Pilates 
  • Yoga
  • Dancing 
  • Various non-contact sports or activities

Helping a senior loved one exercise and make healthy lifestyle choices can be a difficult task, especially if he or she has Parkinson’s disease. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Omaha, Nebraska, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Provide Emotional Support 

The weeks and months following a Parkinson’s diagnosis can be a stressful time, but providing support for your loved one could ease his or her stress levels and help him or her manage various changes, including uncontrollable movements during sleep, tremors, and slow movement. In the early stages of Parkinson’s, your loved one may need more emotional support and less hands-on care.

Seniors with Parkinson’s disease can benefit from receiving professional in-home care. When considering non-medical home care, Omaha, Nebraska, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. If your loved one needs help managing the symptoms of a serious medical condition, call Home Care Assistance at (402) 261-5158 today.