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Things For Parkinson Patients To Do

Stimulating Activities For Elderly People With Parkinsons

Neurology – Topic 14 – Parkinsons disease – examining a patient
By 9 am on March 8, 2018

Parkinsons disease can negatively affect many aspects of a seniors life, but staying actively engaged can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the disease. With careful planning, family caregivers can find various activities that are less intrusive and can be performed in moderation. Here are some safe and engaging activities that seniors with Parkinsons should try.

Talk To An Experienced Caregiver

It can be helpful to you, as well as your loved one and close family members, to connect with a seasoned caregiver. This person, whom you may find through your doctors office or at a support group , has gone through similar things youre facing at different times.

Experienced caregivers can provide reassurance and tried-and-true strategies for everything from making sure medications are taken, to recommending classes that have been helpful, to suggesting products that make a patients life easier. A trusted person whos a step or two ahead of you can also show you by example that the condition can be effectively managed, and it generally progresses slowly.

Eat Plenty Of Protein But Not With Levodopa Medications

If youre taking a levodopa medication, your doctor may tell you to avoid protein when taking your meds. Both animal and plant protein can interfere with the absorption of levodopa medications.

But you should still eat plenty of protein. Just be strategic with the timing. Dont take levodopa medications with meals, Dr. Gostkowski says. Its best to take it on an empty stomach either 30 minutes before your meal or an hour after eating.

If you get nauseous from the medication, eat a small amount of starchy food with it, such as crackers. Make sure whatever you eat with your medicine doesnt have protein. Its a misunderstanding that people with Parkinsons should avoid protein, Dr. Gostkowski says. You definitely need protein in your diet. Just dont eat it when youre taking your levodopa medication.

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The Pencil Grip Heavyweight Mechanical Pencil Set Tpg

Make your loved one’s day-to-day a little easier, starting with their writing utensils.

Accomplishing tasks can take longer due to slowness of movements, explains Dr. Nwabuobi. Writing and performing other fine motor tasks such as putting on jewelry or shaving can become more laborious due to tremor. Weighted pens are a great way for those with Parkinsons to cut down on tremors and gain better control of their hand while writing, making the process easier and handwriting more readable.

This weighted pen from The Pencil Grip is said to help people develop better motor control and build up strength through regular use. It weighs four ounces to add a nice level of heftiness and bring a smooth finish to any writing efforts.

Upon diagnosis, Dr. Nwabuobi advises all her patients to become physically active and start a fitness regimen. Ideally, exercise should include stretching, aerobic activity, and resistance training. I tell patients to do what they love as long as they are increasing their heart rate and breaking a sweat. This can include speed walking, dancing, yoga, swimming, cycling, boxing, pilates, etc., she adds. An apple watch is a great way for Parkinsons patients to not only keep track of their exercise habits, but all their daily movements. It also monitors heart rates and irregular irregular heart rhythms. Honestly, theres nothing like a new, shiny device meant to encourage physical activity to make you get up and move.

Writing Tips For Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsons Patients Learn Power of Exercise
  • Use large print, instead of script writing. Try using weighted pens or pencils and wrap black electrical tape around the barrel for additional grip.
  • Use felt-tip markers and a large tablet on an easel.
  • If you have difficulty using writing utensils, try typing notes or letters on a computer or typewriter.

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Levinsohn Textile Company Satin Charmeuse Silky Sheet Set Collection

Parkinsons deeply affects peoples functionality and mobility. This can cause poor sleeping patterns because of the difficulty people have turning in bed. Dr. Nwabuobi says silk sheets can make readjusting at night easier for people with Parkinsons. While silk is nice, it can also be terribly expensive. But these satin silk sheets do the job just fine and are a steal in comparison. These sheets are lightweight, breathable, and soft to the touch. Available in red, black, grey, and ivory, these sheets will add a nice pop of color to the bedroom and make anyone excited to fall asleep.

Allbirds has a great selection of slip-on shoes for both men and women. Their Tree Loungers, made from eucalyptus tree fibers, are especially nice. In addition to being conveniently laceless, theyre also lightweight and breathable, making it even easier for people with Parkinsons to slip them on. With their low-density soles, the Tree Loungers mimic the shape of your feet and add little weight, ensuring your mobility isnt hindered. Considering tremors are a common symptom of the condition, putting on shoes can be a complicated and time consuming task. But these shoes make the process simpleand it doesnt hurt that they help the environment by emitting less carbon than petroleum-based foam shoes.

Fantastic Activities For Seniors With Parkinsons

By Amanda Butas 9 am on August 26, 2019

Finding interesting things to do is difficult for many caregivers and their loved ones. While you need to provide activities that keep your senior loved one challenged, he or she may not be able to do some of the things he or she used to enjoy. These seven activities are exciting, interesting, and perfect for helping seniors with Parkinsons overcome their challenges.

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Medicines For Parkinson’s Disease

Medicines prescribed for Parkinson’s include:

  • Drugs that increase the level of dopamine in the brain
  • Drugs that affect other brain chemicals in the body
  • Drugs that help control nonmotor symptoms

The main therapy for Parkinson’s is levodopa, also called L-dopa. Nerve cells use levodopa to make dopamine to replenish the brain’s dwindling supply. Usually, people take levodopa along with another medication called carbidopa. Carbidopa prevents or reduces some of the side effects of levodopa therapysuch as nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, and restlessnessand reduces the amount of levodopa needed to improve symptoms.

People with Parkinson’s should never stop taking levodopa without telling their doctor. Suddenly stopping the drug may have serious side effects, such as being unable to move or having difficulty breathing.

Other medicines used to treat Parkinsons symptoms include:

  • Dopamine agonists to mimic the role of dopamine in the brain
  • MAO-B inhibitors to slow down an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain
  • COMT inhibitors to help break down dopamine
  • Amantadine, an old antiviral drug, to reduce involuntary movements
  • Anticholinergic drugs to reduce tremors and muscle rigidity

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What It Feels Like: Deep Brain Stimulation For Parkinson’s Disease

Emma Jones,

Manzil Bacchus was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease in 2008. Initially, he was told that there was nothing he could do to stop the progression of the progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Manzil and his wife, Sadia, continued to manage the increasingly worrisome symptoms which included tremors and the growing amount of medication that he had to take each day.

After Manzil was diagnosed with colitis, a chronic digestive disease that has been linked to Parkinsons, the family began investigating a new surgical option. In deep brain stimulation , electrodes are inserted in regions of the brain that have been affected by the Parkinsons, with an impulse generator battery also inserted in another area of the body. When turned on, the electrodes send gentle electrical pulses to help improve symptoms like tremors and motor control.

Manzil and Sadia sat down with Healthing to talk about Manzils experience having brain surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic and the difference that deep brain stimulation has made to his quality of life.

When was Manzil diagnosed with Parkinsons?Manzil: Back in 2007, my hands started shaking. I was volunteering at a mosque, helping people to take a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, helping with their application for visas and stuff like that. One of the girls noticed my hand shaking and asked why. I thought I was just tired. After that, I also noticed that my left foot was dragging when I walked.

Sadia: Sadia: Sadia:

Surgery And Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation is a treatment for Parkinsonâs disease that uses an implantable pacemaker-like device to deliver electrical pulses to parts of the brain involved in movement. The DBS system consists of leads precisely inserted into a specific brain target, the neurostimulator implanted in the chest, and extension wires that connect the leads to the neurostimulator. Though implantation of the system requires a neurosurgical procedure, the treatment itself consists of long-term electrical stimulation. Advantages of DBS include its ability to reduce the high doses of medications , its adjustability , and its reversibility DBS was approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for PD in 2002 and according to Medtronic , more than 80,000 patients have undergone DBS surgery worldwide.

Typical candidates are those who have motor fluctuations or periods of âoffâ time with troublesome symptoms alternating with periods of âonâ time with good symptom control, and also with possible periods of excessive movement .

Not all patients with Parkinsonâs disease are good candidates for treatment with DBS. Approximately 10â20% of patients considered for possible treatment with DBS include those:

Also Check: Who Discovered Parkinson’s Disease

Dont Neglect Your Health

Many aspects of caring for a loved one are stressful, and if your own stress level is ratcheting up, you need to step back and get help for yourself. Keep up with regular physical checkups and follow your doctors advice if you need treatment for any ailments. And dont make a habit of putting off important tests for the sake of your loved one.

This care includes your mental health. If you begin to have feelings of intense frustration, talk to your doctor there are probably treatments that can help. And consider respite care or home help if you cant get family and friends involved.

Take Advantage Of Community Wellness Programs

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It can be difficult to get motivated to do physical therapy exercises on your own at home, which is why Jenkins encourages people with Parkinsons to get involved in the active aging community in their areas. Many community wellness programs offer everything from boxing classes to chorus groups to run clubs, all for the aging community. Being involved in a community helps many people get moving and get excited about doing physical activities. It also makes for a social experienceanother important way to keep the brain well-oiledand lets you connect with other people who have similar health conditions.

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Activities Of Daily Living

Sometimes Parkinsons disease can complicate the basic daily activities a person with living with Parkinsons once did easily, like bathing, dressing, eating, sleeping and even walking. It can be hard to adjust to these changes, but there are ways to improve safety while supporting a good quality of life. Review these pages for tips to ease:

Also consider talking to an occupational therapist , who can help simplify home safety and independence by suggesting daily living modifications or adaptations. Your doctor can give you a referral. Additionally, you can call the Parkinsons Foundation Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO to find an OT in your area.

  • Parkinsons Foundation Online Courses
  • Sign Up For Resources On Living Well With Pd

    Get the latest on maintaining and improving your quality of life with Parkinsons disease straight to your inbox. Sign up for email updates now.

    *Please note that not all content is available in both languages. If you are interested in receiving Spanish communications, we recommend selecting both” to stay best informed on the Foundation’s work and the latest in PD news.

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    What Is Parkinsons Disease

    Parkinsonâs disease is a progressive, neurological disease that mainly affects movement but can also affect cognition. Parkinsonâs disease results from the destruction of nerve cells in a part of the brain called the basal ganglia.

    Different parts of the brain work together by sending signals to each other to coordinate all of our thoughts, movements, emotions, and senses. When we want to move, a signal is sent from the basal ganglia to the thalamus and then to the cerebral cortex, all different parts of the brain. Nerve cells in the brain communicate by using chemicals. A chemical called dopamine is produced in a group of cells called the substantia nigra and is essential for normal movement. When the cells die, they can no longer produce and send dopamine, so the signal to move doesnât get communicated. By the time a person starts to experience motor symptoms of Parkinsonâs, theyâve already lost approximately 50% of their dopamine producing cells. People may experience non-motor symptoms from loss of other neurotransmitters up to ten years before motor symptoms are noticed.

    What About Other Drinks

    Approach to the Exam for Parkinson’s Disease

    Parkinsons patients should avoid drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. These products can negatively affect disease symptoms. Especially, diet soda could be very toxic.

    Moderate consumption of caffeine and alcohol shouldnt cause any harm but their high amount may possibly actuate adverse effects in patients. Few clinical trials have reported that daily consumption of coffee may improve some of Parkinsons symptoms. Therefore, researchers often encourage the use of moderate amounts of coffee in Parkinsons disease.

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    Related Diagnosis: Lewy Body Dementia

    Current research is helping to differentiate dementia related conditions in relationship to Parkinsonâs disease. Doctorâs use a 12-month arbitrary rule to aid in diagnosis. When dementia is present before or within 1 year of Parkinsonâs motor symptoms developing, an individual is diagnosed with DLB. Those who have an existing diagnosis of Parkinsonâs for more than a year, and later develop dementia, are diagnosed with PDD.

    In the simplest terms, Lewy bodies are abnormal clumps of proteins that develop in nerve cells. Cholinesterase inhibitors, medications originally developed for Alzheimerâs disease, are the standard treatment today for cognitive DLB and PDD symptoms. Early diagnosis is important, as DLB patients may respond differently than Alzheimerâs disease patients to certain drug, behavioral, and dementia care treatments.

    This challenging, multi-system disorder involving movement, cognition, behavior, sleep, and autonomic function requires a comprehensive treatment approach to maximize the quality of life for both the care recipient and their caregiver. It is very important to pay attention to symptoms of dementia and to search for an expert clinician who can diagnose the condition accurately.

    Ways Physical Therapists Help Slow The Progression Of Parkinson’s Disease

    It is well-known that exercise of any kind is good for each person’s health, both body and mind. But did you know that it is even more important for those living with Parkinson’s disease? Physical therapy is key to slowing down the disease. And it helps those affected to stay as independent as possible.

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    Diagnosis Of Parkinsons Disease

    A number of disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s-like symptoms that result from other causes are sometimes said to have parkinsonism. While these disorders initially may be misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s, certain medical tests, as well as response to drug treatment, may help to distinguish them from Parkinson’s. Since many other diseases have similar features but require different treatments, it is important to make an exact diagnosis as soon as possible.

    There are currently no blood or laboratory tests to diagnose nongenetic cases of Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosis is based on a person’s medical history and a neurological examination. Improvement after initiating medication is another important hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.

    Combine Exercise With Diet

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    Dr. Gostkowski says if you want to feel your best, combine a healthy diet with exercise. Research has shown that regular exercise can improve PD symptoms.

    Do exercise that raises your heart rate, Dr. Gostkowski says. Aim for about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Dont worry about specific exercises. Do an activity you enjoy, as long as it gets your heart rate up. Try brisk walking or biking or more advanced exercise for veteran athletes. I recommend seeing an occupational therapist. They can tailor an exercise program to your needs.

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    Make Your Loved One’s Life A Little Easier With These Thoughtful Gifts

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    Parkinsons disease is a progressive disorder that develops as a result of losing dopamine-producing neurons. These cells are mainly located in the part of the brain called substantia nigra pars compacta, explains movement disorders neurologist and Parkinsons expert Lynda Nwabuobi, MD. With degeneration of these cells and hence, depletion of dopamine, Parkinsons disease includes symptoms such as tremor, bradykinesia , and rigidity manifest.

    This condition can make it more difficult to complete everyday tasks, like moving about the house, putting on clothes, and even speaking. It can be challenging to manage Parkinsons, especially on your own, so having friends and family there to support really can make the difference. Dr. Nwabuobi says its important to remember that Parkinsons is not fatal and many people live full enriched lives with the condition.

    One of the ways to help someone in your life dealing with Parkinsons this holiday season is to give them a present that not only makes them smile, but works to make their life more manageable and puts some level of control back in their hands. Here are some gift ideas theyll be sure to love and appreciate.

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