Caring for an Aging Parent Who’s Been Diagnosed with Parkinson’s

By 9  am on

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that impacts mobility as well as emotional health and cognitive skills. The disease is progressive, but with a proper care plan and optimism, you can help your senior parent handle the condition. Continue reading to find tips you can use when caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease.

Set Realistic Goals

Older adults are often discouraged when their health begins to decrease, especially their fine motor skills. However, when your parent sets realistic goals, he or she can handle Parkinson’s better. When you encourage your loved one to take on too many tasks or try strenuous exercises, his or her self-esteem could decrease if he or she is unable to keep up. Setting realistic goals can boost your loved one’s confidence and motivate him or her to continue with speech and physical therapy, socialization, and other activities that promote overall health. Another way to help your parent stay positive is to celebrate when he or she achieves a goal, regardless of how small the victory may be.

Keep Your Loved One Active

A Parkinson’s diagnosis doesn’t prevent seniors from doing many of the activities they’ve previously enjoyed, such as playing sports, exercising, working, and volunteering. You should promote meaningful tasks and hobbies like these to enhance your loved one’s cognitive skills and physical abilities and lower the risk of mental health disorders such as depression. Keeping your parent active in the early stages of the disease could slow its progression.

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 Highland Park 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.

Simplify Meals

It’s typical for seniors with Parkinson’s to have difficulty eating in the middle and late stages of the condition. Their mouth muscles weaken, and they experience issues with their senses, including the sense of taste, which could make breakfast, lunch, and dinner challenging. Try subtle changes that please your loved one. For instance, if your parent has had difficulty swallowing and chewing, change his or her meal plan to include pureed entrees and soft foods. Changes such as these can boost your loved one’s confidence and make mealtimes easier in the future.

Practice Self-Care

After your parent is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it’s easy to wrap yourself up in his or her care and forget about your personal needs. To provide adequate care to your loved one, you need to care for yourself. Making time to go to the doctor, work out, watch movies with your children, or take up fun hobbies can provide you with the separation you need from time to time. When you look after yourself, you can boost your emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing. As a result, you can provide better care for your parent with Parkinson’s.

Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Highland Park families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.

Encourage Independence

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s doesn’t mean you should do everything for him or her. If you don’t encourage independence, the disease could progress more rapidly and require your loved one to need constant care. Having your parent complete tasks with little or no assistance can keep him or her busy and boost his or her emotional wellbeing. Always ask before you step in to help, and remember to treat your loved one with respect and dignity.

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 at-home care. Families trust Home Care Assistance 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. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (214) 363-3400.


    Request Free Information or
    Schedule a Free in-Home Consultation