Seniors living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) are commonly fearful of exercise and concerned about falls or other injuries that may further limit their mobility. Contrary to popular belief, exercise can be extremely beneficial for those with Parkinson’s when performed under proper supervision. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, not only can physical activity promote balance and coordination, but it may also delay the progression of Parkinson’s. If you provide care for an aging parent with Parkinson’s disease, read the following tips for getting your loved one on board with an exercise program.
Focus on Location in Relation to Safety
Participating in something fun that your loved one will enjoy can be a great motivating tool. However, some activities may be safer than others. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor activity, safety measures should always be in place. For example, your loved one should always be able to grasp a grab bar or other steady structure when exercising. Nonslip shoes and mats should be used when applicable and slippery surfaces should be avoided.
One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care. Lincoln, CA, families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
Don’t Forget the “Small Muscles”
Cardiovascular exercise is very important for good overall health and delaying the progression of PD, but caregivers sometimes forget about the “minor exercises.” Range of motion for the hands and simple finger exercises can be done anytime, anywhere. The same is true of exercises that target the muscles of the face. Parkinson’s care specialists recommend actively engaging the voice and muscles of the face by vigorous chewing, singing, and accentuating the lips.
Consider a Physical Therapy Consult
One of the best ways to ensure a safe exercise program that’s tailored to the needs of the person with PD is to consult with a physical therapist. Ensuring safe and effective activity is a part of a physical therapist’s job, and he or she can make recommendations, work with your loved one, and provide encouragement if your loved one is fearful or skeptical of beginning an exercise program.
Getting regular exercise can boost quality of life for aging adults with Parkinson’s. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
Look into Outside Assistance
Because consistency is key, when participating in an exercise program, many families look to home care professionals to assist when they’re unable to be by their loved one’s side 24/7. Caregivers are highly trained and can encourage activity, provide support, and even assist with exercises recommended by a physical therapist. Along with physical activity assistance, caregivers can help with mobility, bed and wheelchair transfers, household chores, personal care, transportation, and so much more.
Older adults with Parkinson’s disease often need assistance with exercises and other tasks, and family caregivers aren’t always available to offer the help their loved ones need. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Lincoln respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737.