Seniors living with Parkinson’s disease experience various changes in their physical abilities. Therefore, family caregivers need to understand how the disease affects their senior loved ones’ skills and develop healthy lifestyle choices to alleviate its symptoms and slow its progression. Here are some of the physical impacts of Parkinson’s disease.
1. Increased Pain
Depression and anxiety are common among seniors with Parkinson’s, and these mental conditions can lead to increased joint pain and muscle tension. In many cases, high levels of anxiety can lead to deregulation of various neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, that tell the body how to feel and move. As a result, your loved one may feel like he or she is in pain and fail to move around as much as he or she did before developing Parkinson’s.
2. Reduced Strength and Endurance
Your loved one’s ability to move and exercise may decrease if he or she has developed Parkinson’s disease. Poor eating habits can contribute to these changes. As the disease progresses, it may be difficult for your loved one to chew and swallow, so he or she might skip meals and fail to get the nutrients the body needs to be energized and agile. However, you can find ways to ensure your loved one gets the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to increase strength and endurance. Alternatives include pureeing meals or choosing nutritious options that are soft and easy to chew and swallow.
Difficulty swallowing and other safety issues in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s can make it increasingly challenging to care for a senior. Many seniors with Parkinson’s benefit from professional 24-hour care. La Mesa families may not have the expertise to care for a senior loved one with Parkinson’s, and an experienced caregiver can be a wonderful source of support.
3. Slower Movements
Reduced levels of dopamine are normal in seniors with Parkinson’s, making it difficult for them to walk around and participate in various physical activities. As a result of the neurological disorder reducing the amount of dopamine in the brain, your loved one might experience slower movements and stiff joints, making it challenging to perform daily tasks independently and increasing the risk of depression and chronic stress.
4. Poor Coordination
Falling asleep may be difficult to do as Parkinson’s disease progresses. Your loved one may also experience restless legs syndrome, nightmares, and issues with jerking muscles that prevent him or her from sleeping throughout the night. Keep in mind that sleep plays a vital role in physical health. When seniors are sleep-deprived, their blood pressure levels could increase and negatively affect circulation. Failing to get enough rest also prevents the body from ridding itself of dangerous toxins that impact coordination and agility, making it difficult to move around without bumping into objects and increasing the risk of an accident or injury.
5. Bad Posture
Seniors with Parkinson’s may experience stooped positioning as well as rigidity and stiffness. Bending their knees may become challenging to do as time goes by, and they could experience rounded shoulders and forward head posture. The good news is keeping your parent physically active can prevent many of these problems and enhance his or her posture for more extended periods. Ask your loved one’s primary care physician for a list of activities that boost posture and strengthen physical wellbeing.
A wide range of age-related health conditions can make it challenging for older adults to live independently. However, many of these challenges can be less difficult to manage when families choose professional senior care. La Mesa families can depend on the highly trained caregivers from Coast Care Partners to keep their loved ones safe and secure in the comfort of home. Reach out to us if you need compassionate, high-quality care for your loved one. Call us at 619-354-2544 today to learn about our premier home care services.