Author: Michael Riley
Learning that you have Parkinson’s disease can be a big shock. You may feel relieved because you now have answers for many of the symptoms you have been experiencing, but you may also be concerned as well. What will the future be? How will you handle it?
April is Parkinson’s Awareness month, which makes it a good time to look at this disease, and how to live with it. It’s important to know that you can still have an enjoyable life with this disease, and there are many things you can do to make your life easier.
Write down your goals
What does living well mean to you? Do you want to be able to continue with your hobbies, or stay in touch with friends? Are you worried about being able to brush your teeth, or how you will get to appointments when you can no longer drive?
A good step towards living with Parkinson’s is to break these goals down into small, actionable steps so you can form a game plan to living with the disease. This may be as simple as learning more about the disease, or connecting with other people who have the disease.
Be as specific as possible with these small steps, and give yourself a pat on the back when you accomplish one. Every success is a good one, no matter how small.
According to a 2015 study published in Brain and Cognition, aerobic exercise can both improve motor skills and cognition in PD patients. If your long-term goals are to stay as healthy as possible, aerobic exercise might be a key to this. Our caregivers are wonderful at helping clients stay up with their fitness and health goals.
The patients in the above study performed aerobics as little as 20 minutes a week, so even small amounts of exercise can be beneficial.
The Parkinson’s Foundation recommends avoiding fad diets and to eat from all food groups. A particular concern for those with Parkinson’s disease is that an important medication to control PD, Levodopa, can be interfered with by eating protein. The Parkinson’s Foundation recommends working with your health care team to plan when you take medication in order to avoid this problem. Our clients with Parkinson’s disease are very happy to have a team of caregivers who assist them with meal prep and ensuring they follow nutrition and medication guidelines provided by their health care provider.
Your health care team
A good health care team can make all the difference in how you feel. Look for specialists in the field of Parkinson’s disease. People such as Movement Disorder Specialists, Occupational Therapists, Caregivers, and Speech Therapists can all help you maintain your body for as long as possible.
When you are struggling with developing symptoms, a home care professional can be of great assistance in helping you access these services. Our team members assist by helping get you or your loved one to appointments, even help getting dressed if needed, or help with meals.
A warm meal provided by a caregiver while you wait for the physical therapist to arrive can make all the difference in how you feel. These little details can greatly improve quality of life, and give you the opportunity to make the most of the health care options available to you.
Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, but you can manage it through getting the help you need.
How we can help
At Homewatch CareGivers of Charlotte, North Carolina, our home care staff has experience working with Parkinson’s disease, and can make life more comfortable for you. We know when to encourage you to push through your exercise routine, and when you really do need to rest.
We can help you prepare nutritious meals, and make sure you get to your appointments even when your body isn’t cooperating that day. We understand what living with Parkinson’s is like, and can find ways to help you make the most of day to day living. Contact us for more information or assistance today.