Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease that causes a person to experience impaired movement and balance over time. After receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis, it is normal for seniors and their families to feel shocked and overwhelmed by all of the new information. Occasionally, doctors leave out crucial information about living with Parkinson’s, which can make managing the disease more challenging. As you learn more about your aging loved one’s condition, Philadelphia Parkinson’s care experts recommend keeping the following details in mind.
The Medication Side Effects Can Be Severe
Treatment for Parkinson’s often focuses on replacing lost dopamine in the brain. Though dopamine helps alleviate muscle tremors and rigidity, it can also cause new side effects. Insomnia, twitching, and urinary incontinence are potential issues your loved one should discuss with the doctor if they occur when taking a new medication.
It Takes Time to Find the Right Treatment
Due to the vast differences among seniors, it may take a while before your loved one finally finds the right treatment plan. In the meantime, he or she can expect to manage medication side effects and try new types of therapies until finding the perfect one to fit the symptoms.
There Are Differences in Medical Specializations
A Parkinson’s diagnosis likely means your loved one will be meeting a lot of doctors, and he or she should know these doctors do not all have the same specialization. Many people are referred to neurologists, but not every neurologist is experienced in helping seniors with Parkinson’s. Your loved one should ask to see someone who specializes in movement disorders because these types of doctors have likely had training that pertains specifically to Parkinson’s.
There’s No Free Pass on Exercise
Working out becomes more difficult after developing Parkinson’s, but staying active can help your loved one retain his or her physical abilities. In fact, seniors who exercise for an hour at least 2 to 4 days a week are often able to manage the condition more effectively those who do not. Yoga, tai chi, and water aerobics are low-impact forms of exercise that provide help with muscular control.
Support Groups Are Essential
Your loved one will need to do some research on Parkinson’s. Support groups are a great place to gather with others who understand the condition, and your loved one can gain valuable insight into new potential treatments by talking to others about what worked for them.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
At first, many seniors attempt to hide their disorder or refuse help from their family and friends. Encourage your loved one to invite family members and Philadelphia caregivers to medical appointments so they can learn what to expect as the condition progresses. By staying open to support from others, your loved one can ensure you and the rest of your family learn how to help him or her effectively manage the condition.
Parkinson’s is a complex disease, and it can take time to make the appropriate life adjustments after a diagnosis. If your loved one needs help managing Parkinson’s, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with exercise and mobility, provide transportation to medical appointments and other important events, and help with tasks at home like cooking, bathing, and grooming. To learn more about the home care Philadelphia families believe in, call (215) 645-4663 today to speak with a knowledgeable Care Manager.