Does Your Loved One Have Parkinson's Disease? 3 Ways To Help Them Maintain Their Mobility
Living with Parkinson's disease involves learning how to navigate through new challenges as the disease progresses. For many older adults, Parkinson's symptoms, such as muscle stiffness and tremors, eventually begin to limit their mobility. While some loss of mobility is inevitable, it is possible to help your loved one maintain their independence by using these strategies as you work with their in-home healthcare providers.
Focus on Fall Prevention
At first, Parkinson's symptoms are generally mild and intermittent. While this allows your loved one to feel comfortable moving around, it also can generate a false sense of security since all it takes is a sudden jolt of your loved one's muscles to send them falling to the floor. When you arrange for at-home care, ask for a safety assessment to be conducted. This way, things such as a slippery rug will not cause your loved one to fall if they have a shuffling gait. Since fall-related injuries limit a senior's mobility even further, practicing fall prevention goes a long way toward helping your loved one to keep moving.
Explore Mobility Aids
In-home caregivers are wonderful at helping seniors with Parkinson's learn how to manage tasks independently through the use of mobility aids. Devices such as walkers and canes not only help your loved one to do the things that they want, but they also keep joints and muscles limber. Additionally, using a walker for stability helps your loved one avoid falling, and it may give them more confidence if your loved one has been avoiding walking because they were fearful.
Encourage Regular Exercise
Over time, Parkinson's disease progresses to the point where a senior's muscles can become rigid. In addition to prescribing medications, your loved one's doctor might also recommend that they do specific exercises to keep muscle rigidity at bay. Ask your loved one's in-home care provider to help them with their daily exercises. Having another person provide them with stability and encouraging words makes it easier for your loved one to do the exercises that help them stay mobile.
Seniors with Parkinson's disease who prefer to age at home benefit from home-care services that help them conduct their daily routine with greater independence. While challenges such as freezing may interfere with your loved one's day, their caregiver can help them maintain their mobility for as long as possible by preventing injuries and helping them retain their flexibility and strength.