Effects of Parkinson’s Disease on the Family

The symptoms that occur secondary to Parkinson’s disease affect seniors physically, emotionally, and mentally. The life-changing disorder also affects their family members. By understanding the ramifications of Parkinson’s on family dynamics, families are better able to prepare. 

Caregiving Roles

During the early phase of the disorder, seniors with Parkinson’s commonly have minor twitches or tremors. However, for the most part, they’re capable of continuing their daily routines without difficulty. 

As the disease progresses, physical movements become more challenging. Stiffness and a loss of coordination make it difficult to walk unassisted or unsupervised. Seniors eventually lose the ability to feed themselves, get dressed, or bathe. 

For a senior to remain at home, a spouse or adult child often assumes the role of caregiver. Providing care to a family member with Parkinson’s is challenging and stressful if the caregiver doesn’t receive support, understanding, and help from others. 

At some point, your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated elder care providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Family Conflicts

Opinions and thoughts on various topics commonly vary from one person to the next. As such, it’s not unusual for family members to have individual opinions concerning the care of an elderly loved one. One adult child may feel alone in providing care and lash out at other siblings, while another may not think financial or medical matters are being handled correctly. Others might disagree with the level of care provided. 

The different perspectives and opinions may lead to squabbles among family members. The stress conflicts cause may also affect the senior. Families must find a way to hear each other, cooperate, and establish a plan that all find acceptable. 

Sleep Deprivation

Seniors with Parkinson’s often experience disruptions in their sleep patterns secondary to discomfort or needing to visit the bathroom. When providing assistance, family caregivers are also at risk for sleep deprivation. If the senior wakes up during the night, the caregiver must also wake up and offer pain medication or physical assistance. 

All household members need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to maintain health and wellbeing. If family members have the chance to take different shifts to provide assistance, sleep disturbances can be kept to a minimum. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Oshkosh Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Communication Challenges

As Parkinson’s progresses, affected seniors may have increased difficulty speaking. Speech problems prevent seniors from effectively communicating their needs to others. Family members may become frustrated when trying to talk to each other. However, with a little creative thinking, families can find a way to keep the lines of communication open. 

Emotional Turmoil

Family members endure a grieving process while witnessing their loved one face the challenges of Parkinson’s. They worry about health concerns that may surface in the future as well as their own chances of developing the disorder. Family caregivers are at risk for burnout if they don’t have the support they need. Attending a Parkinson’s support group may be beneficial. 

Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they will likely need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. For many seniors in Oshkosh, WI, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Senior Stride Home Care, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 920-717-1767.

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How to Help a Loved One with Parkinson’s Who Has Swallowing Difficulty

A Parkinson’s diagnosis begins a long and emotional journey for seniors and their families. While loving and devoted family members often step into the role of caregiving for an aging loved one, it can be difficult to anticipate all the needs the senior will encounter as the degenerative disease progresses. One of the most common yet overlooked problems that affect elderly people with Parkinson’s is difficulty swallowing. Swallowing difficulties, also known as dysphagia, occur because the disease causes mouth and throat muscles to weaken, making it difficult to chew solid foods. Here are a few ways to overcome these swallowing problems. 

Evaluation

When your loved one starts to show signs that eating is becoming difficult, contact the doctor for an evaluation. A swallow study may be ordered to assess your loved one’s aspiration risk and can be used to determine what foods can be tolerated. This will reduce the risk of choking on food or developing pneumonia.

Difficulty swallowing and other eating issues in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease can make caring for aging adults increasingly challenging. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Oshkosh, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Senior Stride Home Care, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Exercise

The doctor may also be able to recommend a speech therapist who can offer your loved one specific exercises to overcome mouth and throat muscle weakness. These should be performed regularly with the help of a family member or professional caregiver to aid chewing and swallowing. Different swallowing techniques can also be taught, which can ease swallowing problems in some seniors.

Diet

Modifications to the diet can be made that consist of eating soft, strained, or pureed foods and thickened liquids. Depending on how severe the dysphagia has become, the consistency of liquids can be modified to the thickness of honey or pudding. It’s important that enough nutrients are consumed to keep your loved one as strong as possible.

Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elder care. Families trust Senior Stride Home Care to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Position

The ability to chew and swallow is influenced by how the senior is positioned while eating. An upright position is best, and your loved one should sit at a 90-degree angle and with a forward tilt to the head. The upright position should be held for 15–20 minutes following a meal.

For many inexperienced caregivers, identifying new symptoms associated with the disease may be difficult. Here are a few signs your loved one may have developed a swallowing disorder: 

  • Excessive drooling
  • Constant coughing or choking
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Heartburn
  • Eating slowly
  • Difficulty swallowing medication

Caring for a loved one with advanced Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate, professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, an Oshkosh homecare services agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Call us today at 920-717-1767 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.

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Sleep Disorders in Seniors with Parkinson’s Disease

Seniors with Parkinson’s frequently have difficulty sleeping, which can be attributed to several different causes. If you provide care for an aging loved one with Parkinson’s, it’s important to understand the types of sleep disturbances he or she may encounter as well as their causes to ensure he or she can get restful sleep. Here are some key details about the relationship between Parkinson’s and sleep and a few tips on how to address sleep problems commonly associated with the disease. 

Common Types of Sleep Disturbances 

Seniors with Parkinson’s may experience disrupted sleep patterns due to muscle stiffness and other symptoms associated with the disease. The stress that accompanies Parkinson’s may also cause insomnia and vivid dreams, which could lead to early waking or unstable sleeping patterns. When sleep problems continue, seniors with Parkinson’s may also experience narcolepsy as a result of constant fatigue. 

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of elder care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Causes of Sleep Problems 

The causes of sleep problems in seniors with Parkinson’s can vary depending on their symptoms and the medications they take. For this reason, it’s important to have your loved one’s health and sleep habits evaluated by a doctor if the symptoms are causing disrupted sleep. Most medical professionals consider the primary causes of sleep disturbances to be disruptions in REM patterns, medication side effects, stress, and muscular contractions. 

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Oshkosh, WI, Senior Stride Home Care are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Strategies to Promote Better Sleep 

Once you understand the root cause of your loved one’s sleep problem, there are several strategies you can use to promote better sleep. Keeping your loved one active throughout the day with exercise and social opportunities can help him or her become tired by bedtime. For severe sleep problems, your loved one’s physician may be able to prescribe medications that can reduce Parkinson’s symptoms and make it easier to stay asleep. Seniors with Parkinson’s and their caregivers should stay alert for signs of developing sleep disorders so the proper strategies can be implemented before a lack of sleep interferes with safety and quality of life. 

When you understand the causes of your loved one’s sleep issues, you can help him or her find ways to sleep better and enhance his or her overall wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Oshkosh, WI, Senior Stride Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at 920-717-1767 today.

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Impulse Control Issues Associated with Parkinson’s Disease

Although many people are aware of the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, there are other symptoms that are discussed less frequently. One of the most concerning is how Parkinson’s can cause seniors to engage in impulsive behaviors, often resulting from medications taken to combat the condition. Here are a few of these impulses and tips on how to alleviate the behavioral issues. 

Prescription Drug Abuse

Many seniors diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are prescribed either levodopa or carbidopa. These two forms of medication can amplify obsessive behavior and cause seniors to become fixated on increasing their dosage. This unhealthy behavior, known as dopamine dysregulation syndrome, generally affects around 4 percent of seniors who take these medications. You can help your loved one prevent this issue by regularly meeting with his or her doctor to discuss impulses or addictive urges. 

Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Compulsive Shopping

Many seniors have careless spending habits, but this type of behavior can be especially concerning for those who have Parkinson’s. In some cases, this issue is the result of aggressive selling tactics designed specifically to take advantage of elderly people. However, if compulsive shopping becomes especially problematic for your loved one, you might need to take charge of his or her finances. 

Gambling

Pathological gambling affects around 5 percent of seniors with Parkinson’s disease. If the gambling addiction is caught early, it can often be addressed with a comprehensive therapy program. However, as the pathological gambling and Parkinson’s both progress, a doctor might recommend the use of antidepressants or antipsychotics to suppress the urges. 

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Oshkosh, WI, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Senior Stride Home Care. 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.

Sexual Addiction

Hypersexuality is one of the most common impulse control disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease, affecting around 3.5 percent of adults with the condition. This symptom leads to an increase in sexual behavior that has an adverse effect on the senior’s life. While there’s no known cure for hypersexuality, some studies have shown altering Parkinson’s medications can reduce the urges. As with other impulse disorders, an early diagnosis followed by therapy can be helpful in curbing unhealthy sexual behavior. 

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of in-home care Oshkosh, Wisconsin, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at 920-717-1767 today.

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Understanding the Role of Dopamine in Parkinson’s

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, approximately one million Americans have Parkinson’s disease, and more than 60,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year. A decrease in the levels of a chemical known as dopamine is one of the leading causes of Parkinson’s. Here are some facts about this important chemical. 

Basic Facts about Dopamine

Dopamine is a chemical produced by the brain that serves as a neurotransmitter, sending signals from various parts of the brain to the rest of the body. Neurons in the areas of the brain known as the substantia nigra and basal ganglia are responsible for the production of dopamine. When these neurons die or are damaged, the amount of dopamine is reduced. 

The Correlation between Parkinson’s & Dopamine

As levels of dopamine drop, your loved one may begin to have difficulty regulating movement. Most people begin to notice Parkinson’s-related motor symptoms when approximately 60 to 80 percent of the dopamine-producing neurons are affected. Typical motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors and muscle rigidity. 

Early diagnosis is critical because Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging in its final stages, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

How Dopamine Affects Parkinson’s Treatment

Most medicines used to treat Parkinson’s disease either stimulate the production of dopamine or trick the brain into thinking it’s producing dopamine by acting on dopamine receptors. Levodopa, which is often used as the first treatment for Parkinson’s, produces dopamine when metabolized by the body. However, levodopa can lose its effectiveness rather quickly. Dopamine agonist drugs, such as rotigotine, pergolide, cabergoline, and bromocriptine, are also used to stimulate dopamine receptors in the brain. 

Seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can live at home, but most need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. Seniors living with serious health conditions often need extensive assistance in and outside the home. Senior Stride Home Care is a trusted provider of Oshkosh live-in care. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with bathing, grooming, light housekeeping, and various other daily tasks, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Dopamine & Dietary Considerations

Experts suggest a diet rich in antioxidants may protect the dopamine-producing neurons of the brain. Tiny molecules known as free radicals can damage cells and tissue. These molecules have a special affinity for attacking dopamine-producing cells. Antioxidants act as scavengers that seek out and destroy free radicals, which can help your loved one lose fewer dopamine-producing cells over time. Some examples of antioxidant-rich foods include: 

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Kidney beans
  • Garlic
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tea, coffee, and red wine

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in oily fish, are also essential nutrients for virtually all tissues in the body. You should encourage your loved one to eat fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, at least twice a week.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he or she can benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated Oshkosh at-home care providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at 920-717-1767 today. 

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6 Facts about Parkinson’s a Doctor Might Not Tell You

If your aging loved one is one of the million or so people in the U.S. living with Parkinson’s disease, his or her doctor has probably provided the information necessary to identify and treat symptoms. Yet there are some things the doctor may not tell your loved one about this chronic progressive condition. Having a full understanding of what’s involved with Parkinson’s can help you develop a better plan to address the condition. 

1. Parkinson’s Medications Can Have Severe Side Effects

The dopamine agonist drugs often prescribed to treat tremors may have severe side effects that can often be worse than the symptoms these drugs are supposed to treat. These side effects could include insomnia, obsessive-compulsive behavior, uncontrolled movements, or twitching. 

Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease can live at home, but they may need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Oshkosh, WI, Senior Stride Home Care is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

2. It Takes Time to Find an Effective Treatment Combination

In addition to carbidopa and levodopa, there are many medications that can treat symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. It’s often a trial-and-error process until the right combination is found to effectively alleviate symptoms. 

3. Not All Neurologists Specialize in Parkinson’s

The doctor will likely refer your parent to a neurologist to address motor issues associated with Parkinson’s. Do a little research and look for one who specializes in movement disorders. 

4. Exercise Is Important

Since Parkinson’s affects muscles, regular movement is important. As the condition progresses, exercises can be adjusted to your loved one’s abilities. For instance, water aerobics can offer the same benefits as vigorous exercise without excessive muscle strain. 

Your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with exercise and everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated senior home care providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

5. Support Groups Can Help

Input from others is critical when it comes to finding the emotional support your loved one is likely to need. Search for a local Parkinson’s support group (or an online group if you can’t find one close by) with members in your loved one’s age range who can directly relate to the challenges your parent faces. 

6. Physical Therapy Can Be Beneficial

Physical therapy is highly personalized, so your loved one is likely to benefit from regular sessions as the condition advances. A good therapist will also monitor symptoms and try a variety of techniques to find the right combination that works best for your loved one.

Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging, especially in its final stages, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Oshkosh Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at 920-717-1767 today.

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Tips for Being a Good Caregiver for an Aging Parent with Parkinson’s

Taking on the role of family caregiver is becoming more common. However, older adults with Parkinson’s often have different needs compared to their healthier counterparts. Here are a few ways you can provide better care to an aging parent with Parkinson’s.

Learn about the Disease

Potential caregivers need to learn as much as possible about Parkinson’s disease. The disorder doesn’t progress the same in all adults, nor do all seniors experience similar symptoms according to a concrete timeline. By learning about the neurological disease, you can gain a better understanding of the type of care your loved one may require. 

Address Safety Concerns

Aging adults with Parkinson’s often lose their balance when standing or walking. Ensure all pathways in the home are clear of obstructions. Any throw rugs must be firmly secured to the floor or removed due to the possibility of sliding and possibly causing a fall. Install grab bars in the shower, tub, and toilet areas of the bathroom, and make sure the floor of the shower has some type of nonslip surface. At night, ensure the home has sufficient lighting and consider using night-lights to illuminate the pathway to and from the bathroom.

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, an Oshkosh home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Prepare Healthy Meals

Seniors with Parkinson’s are prone to thinning bones. Make sure your loved one’s diet contains sufficient amounts of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins D and K. The medications prescribed to treat Parkinson’s tend to cause dehydration. Keep track of the amount of fluids your loved one consumes throughout the day, and encourage him or her to drink water periodically. In addition to drinking enough fluids, your parent should consume up to 25 grams of fiber each day to prevent constipation. In the later phases of the disease, swallowing may become difficult. If your loved one doesn’t consume enough calories, he or she may lose weight. Eating smaller meals more frequently sometimes helps. Liquefying meals is another option. 

Consider Medication Side Effects

The typical medications for Parkinson’s disease can cause a number of undesirable effects, such as:

  • Loss of appetite 
    • Compulsive eating 
    • Involuntary shaking or tremors 
    • Fluid retention in the form of edema 
    • Nausea 
    • Hallucinations

Levodopa must be taken on an empty stomach between meals. The medication interacts with protein, which inhibits adequate absorption of the drug.

Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Oshkosh seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Encourage Regular Exercise

Encourage your loved one to get as much physical activity as he or she can tolerate. Exercise helps seniors with Parkinson’s maintain their balance, mobility, and overall strength. Reading aloud and singing strengthen jaw and vocal muscles. Your loved one can also make faces in the mirror to strengthen the facial muscles. Water aerobics strengthen the musculoskeletal system without putting undue stress on weight-bearing joints. Swimming, walking, and practicing tai chi are other options. Your loved one must remember to gradually warm up before exercising and to cool down afterward.

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elder care. Families trust Senior Stride Home Care to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 920-717-1767.

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Dancing as Therapy for Seniors with Parkinson’s

Can you imagine seniors happily dancing to the songs of Elvis Presley, Paul Anka, the Platters, and the Beatles as well as other tunes that were popular in the ’50s and ’60s? Now imagine these seniors, all happily shaking and grooving, are also battling Parkinson’s disease (PD). Because of the unpredictable way symptoms can progress, there’s no standard treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Even so, seniors with this condition often benefit from a combination of therapies. “Dance with PD” is a relatively new therapy program that encourages aging adults with Parkinson’s to dance every day to boost their health, balance, strength, and quality of life.

What Having Parkinson’s Disease Means

If your aging loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you’ve likely noticed symptoms such as loss of motor control, tremors, and stiffness. The good news is that a combination of healthy practices, such as daily exercise and a nutritious diet, can ease Parkinson’s pain while slowing the progression of other symptoms.

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable in-home care. Oshkosh, WI, families trust Senior Stride Home Care to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. 

The Benefits of Dance as Therapy

Research suggests the pain and degeneration that comes with Parkinson’s can be alleviated by dance therapy. Dancing builds leg strength and increases balance, which can reduce instances of freezing and make your loved one less likely to fall if he or she begins to trip. In addition, learning new dance steps can strengthen cognitive abilities.

There are many reasons for seniors with Parkinson’s to dance, but here are the main ones:

  • Dance provides the physical activity and some of the therapeutic movements needed for pain relief and increased mobility.
  • Dance connects the body and the mind. The deliberate movements used in dance help aging adults adapt and adjust to the depletion of the neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is responsible for bringing the brain’s messages to the muscles.
  • As therapy, dance aids in relieving the stiffness and discomfort that comes with the disease. It also affords people with Parkinson’s the benefit of learning ways to manage motor block (commonly referred to as freezing) and dyskinesia (involuntary movements).
  • Dancing therapy can help with many different PD-related issues, including balance and stride length, side-to-side movement, posture, and coordination.

Mobility issues in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease can make caring for aging adults increasingly challenging. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Oshkosh, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Senior Stride Home Care, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Relief from Social Isolation

Various types of dance, such as ballroom dancing, provide a low-impact form of exercise that also gives seniors the opportunity to enjoy a little socializing. Through supervised dancing sessions, seniors with Parkinson’s disease can enjoy a relaxed social setting that can ease problems related to isolation and depression. They’re given opportunities to express their thoughts, communicate with like-minded adults, and engage in a fun group activity.

The proven benefits of dance therapy for adults with Parkinson’s can’t be denied. This fun form of pain management is arguably one of the best ways for seniors to stay social, active, and happy well into their golden years.

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Reach out to us at Senior Stride Home Care if you need compassionate professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 920-717-1767

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5 Best Coordination-Boosting Exercises for Seniors with Parkinson’s

Maintaining balance can be difficult for aging adults with Parkinson’s. The condition affects a part of the brain (the basal ganglia) that plays an important role in balance and coordination. For this reason, it’s important for seniors with this disease to continue to exercise as much as possible to maintain mobility and coordination. Below are five of the top exercises that can be beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s.

1. Aerobic Activities

Changes occurring due to the progression of Parkinson’s disease can be countered by exercises that require various parts of the body to work together, which is why aerobic activities can be so beneficial. Gait, flexibility, and balance can be increased with exercises of this nature, which include:

• Traditional or stationary cycling
• Walking at a comfortable pace
• Dancing and other favorite activities requiring coordinated movements

Even a senior in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s can get the benefits of regular exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Oshkosh senior care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

2. Water-Based Exercises

For times when it’s too difficult for your aging loved one to do coordination exercises on land, water-based exercises can provide similar benefits. The natural buoyancy of water eases pressure on bones and joints while still allowing seniors to get healthy workouts. Options for water-based exercise that could be beneficial for aging adults with Parkinson’s include:

• Swimming
• Water aerobics
• Water walking
• Aqua choreography (“water dancing”)

3. Toe and Chair Stands

An effective balance exercise for older adults with Parkinson’s is a chair stand, which is done by starting from a seated position in a chair without arms. Shoulders are kept back and straight and arms are extended outward while slowly standing up. No hands are used while going from a sitting to a standing position. However, you can stay next to your loved one in case he or she needs some extra support.

If chair stands are too difficult for your loved one because of Parkinson’s limitations, try toe stands instead. This coordination exercise is done by:

• Standing behind a chair
• Using the chair only for support
• Slowing raising up on the toes
• Holding the position for a few seconds before lowering the heels to the floor

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Oshkosh respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

4. Leg Raises

In addition to strengthening the muscles in the lower back, hips, and buttocks, leg raises help with balance, coordination, and posture problems, which are common in older adults with Parkinson’s. Leg raises target muscles in the lower back partially responsible for balance and coordination while also correcting forward head and shoulder issues. There are many variations of leg raises, but a good way to get started is by standing next to a chair and taking the following steps:

• Raising one leg and moving it forward
• Lifting one leg to the side while slightly bending the supporting leg
• Raising one leg and moving it backward without bending the supporting leg

Legs are alternated after doing about 10 repetitions, which can be done by turning around or moving the chair to the other side.

5. Yoga and Tai Chi

Both yoga and tai chi are controlled-movement exercises that can help older adults with Parkinson’s maintain balance and coordination in a way that’s safe and gentle. The techniques involved with both of these disciplines help with a wide range of coordination-related issues, including stability, range of motion, leg strength, posture, and reflexes.

Seniors with Parkinson’s who need help exercising safely can benefit from the help of a trained professional caregiver. At-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Senior Stride Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at 920-717-1767 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.

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5 Treatment Strategies for Parkinson’s Caregivers

Becoming a caregiver for someone who has Parkinson’s disease can be very stressful. No one wants to see an aging loved one’s health deteriorate over time. Although you want to do everything you can for your loved one, you have to remember to take care of yourself as well. Here are five tips for providing Parkinson’s treatment.

1. Get Everything Organized

When it comes to treating someone with Parkinson’s disease, being organized is crucial, which means keeping your loved one’s medical notes, records, insurance papers, appointment reminders, doctors’ numbers, and medication details close by. You can put all these things into a folder for portability and easy access.

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable in-home care. Families trust Senior Stride Home Care to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

2. Take Care of Yourself

Self-care is important for caregivers as well. To ensure your loved one is receiving the proper care, you need to be physically and emotionally fit. It’s important to take time off for yourself to de-stress and rest. Caring for other people, especially those with Parkinson’s, can take its toll. No one can do everything, so make sure to ask friends and family members for help. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a little downtime to yourself to relax and recharge your batteries.

3. Study Your Loved One’s Medical Insurance

There’s more to being a Parkinson’s caregiver than simply preparing meals and reminding your loved one to take medicine. Your loved one’s medical responsibilities also become yours. As such, you’ll need to take the time to study your loved one’s medical insurance. Familiarize yourself with how the insurance policy works, what it covers, and how to apply for reimbursements for medical expenses. Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that you might be entitled to compensation under your loved one’s disability benefits, so make sure to educate yourself on his or her disability coverage as well as your rights as a caregiver.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Oshkosh seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

4. Understand Everything About Parkinson’s Disease

Obviously, you need to know how Parkinson’s disease works and how it affects a person before you can become a caregiver. Remember to stay diligent about keeping up with all the latest updates about the condition. Read about the symptoms caused by Parkinson’s and consult your loved one’s doctor to learn how the condition may progress.

5. Monitor Symptoms and Report Changes

As a caregiver, it’s your responsibility to note and report any changes in your loved one’s symptoms. Since you’ll be spending a great deal of time with your loved one, you’ll probably be the first to notice anything new. Make sure to consult the doctor if you see any variations in your loved one’s symptoms or behavior.

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, an Oshkosh at-home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. If your loved one needs professional care, Senior Stride Home Care is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 920-717-1767 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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