Activities For People With Parkinsons Disease
Apr 7, 2022 | Health & Wellness |
For seniors with Parkinsons disease , finding activities to do can be difficult. Because of some of the diseases symptoms, such as tremors, balance issues, and slowed movement, seniors may not be able to participate in activities they once enjoyed. Staying engaged and challenged is an important part of dealing with PD. These activities can help:
How Do I Take Care Of Myself
If you have Parkinsons disease, the best thing you can do is follow the guidance of your healthcare provider on how to take care of yourself.
- Take your medication as prescribed. Taking your medications can make a huge difference in the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. You should take your medications as prescribed and talk to your provider if you notice side effects or start to feel like your medications aren’t as effective.
- See your provider as recommended. Your healthcare provider will set up a schedule for you to see them. These visits are especially important to help with managing your conditions and finding the right medications and dosages.
- Dont ignore or avoid symptoms. Parkinsons disease can cause a wide range of symptoms, many of which are treatable by treating the condition or the symptoms themselves. Treatment can make a major difference in keeping symptoms from having worse effects.
What Medications And Treatments Are Used
Medication treatments for Parkinsons disease fall into two categories: Direct treatments and symptom treatments. Direct treatments target Parkinsons itself. Symptom treatments only treat certain effects of the disease.
Medications that treat Parkinsons disease do so in multiple ways. Because of that, drugs that do one or more of the following are most likely:
Several medications treat specific symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms treated often include the following:
- Erectile and sexual dysfunction.
- Hallucinations and other psychosis symptoms.
Deep brain stimulation
In years past, surgery was an option to intentionally damage and scar a part of your brain that was malfunctioning because of Parkinsons disease. Today, that same effect is possible using deep-brain stimulation, which uses an implanted device to deliver a mild electrical current to those same areas.
The major advantage is that deep-brain stimulation is reversible, while intentional scarring damage is not. This treatment approach is almost always an option in later stages of Parkinson’s disease when levodopa therapy becomes less effective, and in people who have tremor that doesnt seem to respond to the usual medications.
Researchers are exploring other possible treatments that could help with Parkinsons disease. While these arent widely available, they do offer hope to people with this condition. Some of the experimental treatment approaches include:
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Medications For People With Parkinsons Disease
Symptoms of Parkinsons disease result from the progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and other organs such as the gut, which produce a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This causes a deficiency in the availability of dopamine, which is necessary for smooth and controlled movements. Medication therapy focuses on maximising the availability of dopamine in the brain. Medication regimes are individually tailored to your specific need. Parkinsons medications fit into one of the following broad categories:
- levodopa dopamine replacement therapy
- dopamine agonists mimic the action of dopamine
- COMT inhibitors used along with levodopa. This medication blocks an enzyme known as COMT to prevent levodopa breaking down in the intestine, allowing more of it to reach the brain
- anticholinergics block the effect of another brain chemical to rebalance its levels with dopamine
- amantadine has anticholinergic properties and improves dopamine transmission
- MAO type B inhibitors prevent the metabolism of dopamine within the brain.
Treatment Options For Parkinsons
While there is no cure for Parkinsons at this time, there are a number of treatments that can ease symptoms. Parkinsons medications are the mainstay of treatment, but modalities are often used in combination. Physical, occupational and speech therapy can be critical to the treatment plan. Surgical options also have an important role for a subset of patients with Parkinsons disease. Finally, complementary therapies can be used to treat some Parkinsons disease symptoms. Your physician and other healthcare professionals can help you determine the best treatment plan for your symptoms.
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Adaptive Dining Products To Help Reduce Spills
Dining plates and bowls, plate guards, and two-handle mugs promote independence, self-confidence, and safer eating for those with Parkinsons disease. Built-up sides on plates and bowls help users to push food onto the fork or spoon as well as keeping the food contained. Suction bases on bowls and plates also help to prevent slipping.
For safer and easier drinking, this mug has a weighted base and two large handles to accommodate adult fingers. The lids spout also helps to prevent spills
This convenient dining kit includes a weighted utensil set designed to improve your grasp while feeding, as well as dining ware for reducing spills and messes
Designed to allow the user to push food against the raised side of the plate, this dish helps scoop food with only one hand if necessary
Promoting independence and self-confidence, this unique spill guard minimizes messy spills at meal time. It easily attaches to standard round plates for convenience
A polypropylene mug with an easy-to-grasp handle, used for either hot or cold liquids. The lid regulates flow for safer drinking
Stable dining surfaces can also help simplify mealtimes for those with shaky hands and weakness. The non-slip material can be cut-to-size and placed under a plate or bowl to keep it from moving on the table.
Simple changes and adaptations can make meals easier to prepare, eat, and clean up. Help your loved ones dine with ease and comfort using one of these adaptive utensils and tableware!
Assembling Your Care Team
Assembling a team that will provide you with physical and emotional support and adapt to your needs over time is one of the best ways to remain healthy. Parkinsons disease is complex and requires an interdisciplinary approach to care. The care team may include, but is not limited to:
- Movement disorder specialist
- Rehabilitation specialists including physical, occupational, and speech therapists
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Bathing With Parkinsons Disease
- Use a shower chair if necessary.
- Use a hand-held hose for showering and bathing.
- Use a long-handled sponge or scrubbing brush.
- Use soap-on-a-rope, bath mitts, or sponges with soap inside or a soft soap applicator instead of bar soap.
- Use lukewarm water, as very hot water can cause fatigue.
- Sew straps on towels to make them easier to hold while drying.
- Place a non-skid rug on the floor outside the tub to dry your feet so you dont slip.
- Put a towel on the back of your chair and rub your back against it to dry. Or, use a terry cloth robe instead of a towel to dry off.
Parkinsons Disease: Causes Symptoms And Treatments
Parkinsons disease is a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.
Symptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. They may also have mental and behavioral changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, and fatigue.
While virtually anyone could be at risk for developing Parkinsons, some research studies suggest this disease affects more men than women. Its unclear why, but studies are underway to understand factors that may increase a persons risk. One clear risk is age: Although most people with Parkinsons first develop the disease after age 60, about 5% to 10% experience onset before the age of 50. Early-onset forms of Parkinsons are often, but not always, inherited, and some forms have been linked to specific gene mutations.
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Make Life A Little Easier With The Allbirds Tree Loungers Or An Apple Watch
Sarah is a freelance writer with a focus on health and wellness. She has written for publications like Women’s Health, Healthline, and Parents. She taught creative writing for five years, and has a bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University.
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Parkinsons disease is a progressive disorder that develops as a result of losing dopamine-producing neurons. Due to how it affects cells in the brain and the depletion of dopamine, “Parkinsons disease includes symptoms such as tremor, bradykinesia , and rigidity manifest, says Lynda Nwabuobi, MD, movement disorders neurologist and Parkinsons expert. Because this condition makes it difficult for people with Parkinson’s to complete everyday tasks, consider gifts that allow people to “live full enriched lives.”
Who Does It Affect
The risk of developing Parkinsons disease naturally increases with age, and the average age at which it starts is 60 years old. Its slightly more common in men or people designated male at birth than in women or people designated female at birth .
While Parkinsons disease is usually age-related, it can happen in adults as young as 20 .
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Stimulating Activities For Elderly People With Parkinsons
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.
Path Finder Laser Shoes
Thiss an affiliate link, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through this link, Ill earn a small commission.
Path Finder is a small and lightweight laser cueing shoe that helps the patient in breaking freezing episodes and improve stride length. It works by displaying a visual cue in the form of a laser line, which sends a message to the brain to allow the leg to move forward.
The laser line automatically projects right in front of the foot as soon as the foot comes in contact with the ground. This bright laser line serves as a safe, obstacle-free visual cue for the corresponding foot to begin the step by stepping over the line, thus allows the patient to step after step and restore the normal walk.
The device is designed by Lise Pape, who was a graduate student at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College of London, and now the CEO and founder of Walk With Path. Her idea of developing Path Finder has originally come from her father illness. Her father was having a gait problem due to Parkinsons disease. She thought of designing a device that could assist and benefit him. This led her to developed a company named Walk With Path in 2014. The company launched its product Path Finder a laser cueing shoe in 2017.
The device is very easy to use. It is small, handy, and can easily fit a shoe. Walking with it is like walking with normal shoes.
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Complementary And Alternative Therapies
DO NOT try to treat Parkinson disease with alternative therapies alone. Used with conventional medications, complementary and alternative therapies may help provide some relief of symptoms and slow progression of the disease. Some CAM therapies may interfere with certain medications, so work with your physician to find the safest, most effective CAM therapies for you.
Identify Areas You Need Help
Living with PD is a challenge. Living alone with PD may be an even greater challenge. Think about the things you normally do and identify changes that may need to be made and who can help you.
You may not be able to climb on a ladder to change a light bulb or clean the gutters, but lets face it you never really liked doing that anyway. Now you can justify asking someone else to do the work.
Local Parkinson disease chapters and support groups can help you identify local services.
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Design A Safe Resistance Training Program To Help You Keep Your Muscle Strength
Resistance training is highly recommended for people with Parkinson disease. Resistance training reduces the severity of motor disease and improves:
- Strength and power.
- Nonmotor symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and others.
- Your ability to perform at work and do your daily activities .
- Quality of life.
Learn More About How Parkinsons Affects Families & Relationships
Much more can be found in a powerful new edition of Davis Phinney Foundations free Every Victory Counts® manual. The Every Victory Countsmanual has an entire section on Parkinsons and the family along with tools care partners may find useful along their caregiving journey.
Its jam-packed with up-to-date information about everything Parkinsons, plus an expanded worksheets and resources section to help you put what youve learned into action. Color coding and engaging graphics help guide you through the written material and point you to complementary videos, podcasts and other materials on the Every Victory Counts companion website. And, it is still free of charge thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.
Request your copy of the new Every Victory Counts manual by clicking the button below.
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Seek Support From Others
Friends and family can be a great source of help when youâre dealing with Parkinsonâs. But sometimes, itâs a relief to be able to relate to someone who knows what itâs like to deal with the disease. In-person or online support groups can offer comfort and practical advice. They can also help you feel less alone. Ask your doctor, nurse, or social worker to suggest local or online groups you can join.
Sometimes people have problems that are better addressed in a one-on-one atmosphere. By taking part in individual counseling, you may be more able to express sensitive or private feelings you have about your condition and its impact on your lifestyle and relationships.
Itâs common to feel depressed and anxious, too. Check in with a mental health professional if you’re having a hard time enjoying life the way you used to, or if you are often angry, sad, or unlike your usual self.
Stretching To Loosen Stiff Muscles Of Parkinson’s
The following stretching and flexibility exercises can help to relieve stiff muscles, improve flexibility, and make everyday tasks easier:
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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.
Help Them Feel Normalcy
A disease like Parkinsons can interfere with the normalcy of someones life. Because people may focus so much on the disease and its symptoms, your loved one may start to lose their sense of self.
When you talk with your loved one, dont constantly remind them that they have a chronic disease. Talk about other things like their favorite new movie or book.
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Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons has four main symptoms:
- Tremor in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
- Muscle stiffness, where muscle remains contracted for a long time
- Slowness of movement
- Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls
Other symptoms may include:
The symptoms of Parkinsons and the rate of progression differ among individuals. Early symptoms of this disease are subtle and occur gradually. For example, people may feel mild tremors or have difficulty getting out of a chair. They may notice that they speak too softly, or that their handwriting is slow and looks cramped or small. Friends or family members may be the first to notice changes in someone with early Parkinsons. They may see that the persons face lacks expression and animation, or that the person does not move an arm or leg normally.
People with Parkinson’s disease often develop a parkinsonian gait that includes a tendency to lean forward take small, quick steps and reduce swinging their arms. They also may have trouble initiating or continuing movement.
Symptoms often begin on one side of the body or even in one limb on one side of the body. As the disease progresses, it eventually affects both sides. However, the symptoms may still be more severe on one side than on the other.