Two older people holding hands while walking to show how important it is to keep seniors involved during the holidays

Supporting a Loved One with Parkinson’s Disease

A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in the family can be daunting. There are many ways you can improve conditions at home and help support the person in your life who is facing new challenges associated with the illness. 

From safety concerns to home improvements and caring for mental health, there are so many things you can do to make life with Parkinson’s a little easier for you or the person you care for.

Fall Prevention

Some of the most challenging symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease involve the impairment of motor skills. This can lead to an increased risk of injury from a fall. 

According to The Parkinson’s Foundation, one of the best ways to mitigate the risk of fall injuries is through exercise. 

Aerobic training, strength training, and flexibility are all key components of an exercise routine that can help improve mobility and prevent falls. 

In addition to a regular exercise routine, a special focus on balance training can majorly help reduce the risk of fall injuries. 

Some easy exercises to help practice balance improvement include using a chair for stability while standing on one leg. Wall pushups are also an effective and easy exercise with little risk of injury. 

Other simple movements that can make a positive impact include stretches to alleviate joint stiffness. 

If you find that at-home workouts are too risky, or simply aren’t delivering results, there are many options available for seniors who are interested in working with a trainer or participating in group exercise classes.

Home Updates

If someone in your home has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, there may be new risks around the house. A few simple updates can help make your home safer. 

Parkinson’s can lead to trouble with coordination. Removing hazards on the floor like rugs can help make getting around the house easier. 

Adding non-slip pads instead of rugs to slick surfaces like hardwood or tile flooring can also help prevent tripping.  

In the bathroom, the addition of non-slip mats and handrails can make daily tasks like taking a shower much safer. 

When it comes to storage, consider changing cabinet knobs to pull handles. Move items needed for daily use to a location that doesn’t require the use of a step ladder, or grabbing things from above. 

Stairs can become a major risk for someone experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s. The addition of rails or the replacement of stairs for a ramp can mitigate a lot of risks and increase ease of mobility. 

For those who don’t live alone, an in-home communication system such as an intercom, Alexa, or Google Home can make life easier too. 

At Reflection’s, we offer a unique way to make communication easier. An Electronic Caregiver can help anyone living with Parkinson’s continue to live independently while giving family members peace of mind. 

To learn more about how this simple device works, visit our website. 

Mental Health

Living with Parkinson’s or caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed can be a scary experience at times. 

It’s important to remember to care for mental health struggles that can be part of adjusting to changes associated with a diagnosis. 

Depression and anxiety affect 50% of Parkinson’s patients. Implementing healthy habits like exercise and eating well can help, but it’s important to stay connected too. 

There are plenty of sources online featuring community discussions about living with Parkinson’s. There are even support groups for patients and their families to join in many cities across the country.

Whatever your approach, being part of a community is one of the most effective ways to combat mental health struggles.

Tools and Resources

Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available for families adjusting to life with Parkinson’s. 

The Parkinson’s Foundation website is filled with tips, important information, and useful strategies to help navigate change. 

At Reflection’s, we offer so many services that can help you or your loved one continue to live life to the fullest no matter what level of care is needed. 

Our Lindsay Kratzer MS, CMP, CDP is excited to be part of a four-week series called the Empower Parkinson’s Speaker Series. Anyone interested in learning tips and getting helpful insight for living independently with Parkinson’s can access the 2022 conference online.

In addition, Reflection’s offers services such as in-home care, and a concierge service for anyone who needs just a little help with completing daily tasks and errands. 

We also offer specialized counseling services to help seniors and their families navigate the challenges associated with Parkinson’s, or aging in general. 

Whatever you need, we’re here for you. Visit our website to find out more about the services we offer. When you’re ready, one of our experts can answer your questions and help you find the services that are right for you. 

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