Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition that damages the nerves and brain cells needed for movement. People with Parkinson’s disease frequently experience tremors, stiffness, slowness, and other issues associated with the inability to control muscles. Though the condition is still not fully curable, it is possible to treat many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s with the following seven methods.
For many seniors with Parkinson’s, levodopa is the closest thing to a cure available. Levodopa is a form of a natural chemical that turns into dopamine in the brain, and it is frequently combined with carbidopa to slow the rate of dopamine conversion outside of the brain. This medication can be helpful for reducing tremors during the early stages of Parkinson’s, but it may quit working in the later stages of the disease.
Parkinson’s disease is one of the many health conditions that can impair a senior’s overall quality of life. 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. Cedar Falls seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
2. High-Fiber Diet
The muscle issues associated with Parkinson’s make it difficult to have successful bowel movements. To ease the constipation caused by Parkinson’s, doctors recommend following a high-fiber diet. It is also helpful to drink as much water as possible.
Make sure your senior loved one eats healthy foods each day by hiring a professional caregiver to cook nutritious meals. In Cedar Falls, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
3. MAO-B Inhibitors
MAO-B inhibitors are a class of medication that further delay the breakdown of dopamine in the brain. They are prescribed alongside levodopa to ensure the brain gets as much dopamine as possible. Though using MAO-B inhibitors may temporarily increase the involuntary movements associated with Parkinson’s, it can control the shakiness and stiffness.
4. Speech Therapy
One of the most distressing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is voice loss. Speech therapy can be helpful for treating this symptom because therapists show seniors how to communicate even though it is no longer easy to control their vocal chords.
5. Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is a surgery frequently used by people in the later stages of Parkinson’s disease. The surgery involves an electrode implant that stimulates the brain with mild electrical pulses, and many seniors find it helpful with managing tremors if levodopa is no longer working for them.
Exercises to increase muscular strength and balance help seniors with Parkinson’s manage the movement issues that come with the disease. Good exercise options include yoga, swimming, and other forms of gentle cardio. In addition to basic strength training and cardio, many seniors benefit from physical therapy to alleviate the balance issues. Therapists can provide special exercises that are beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s.
7. Cholinesterase Inhibitors
In the later stages of the disease, seniors with Parkinson’s sometimes develop dementia. This process can be slowed by taking cholinesterase inhibitors. These medications ensure that brain chemicals necessary for memory do not break down. Though cholinesterase inhibitors mostly help with managing dementia, they may also reduce some of the shakiness associated with Parkinson’s disease.
When seniors develop Parkinson’s disease, their families are not always able to provide the care they need and deserve. Cedar Falls, IA, 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. To create a customized in-home care plan for your senior loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 319-260-2222 today.