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What Should Be Considered in a Parkinson’s Care Plan?

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Parkinson’s disease affects millions of people. And because of its unique symptoms, there are a few things you or the professional caregiver should consider when developing a Parkinson’s care plan:

  • Medical management
  • Caregiver education
  • Address mental health issues
  • Nutritional management
  • Environment Adaptations

A senior with Parkinson’s will have a great chance at maintaining their independence for longer with compassionate and knowledgeable caregivers who take the time to consider how they can increase the senior’s quality of life.

By choosing a senior living community that fits your loved one’s needs, you’re helping surround them with a support team that can make a major difference in their lives should they require advanced care in the future.

What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Complications from PD are a leading cause of death in the United States. PD itself isn’t a form of dementia, but the later stages of PD can turn into Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), which is a form of dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease, for example.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s

Common signs of PD include tremors, stiffness, and balance problems. Other symptoms include bradykinesia (slowness of movement), changes in speech and handwriting, depression, anxiety, and constipation.

Symptoms might not be so noticeable in the early stages of the disease, or they may be mistaken for signs of aging. Daily activities like walking, dressing, and eating can become increasingly difficult as PD progresses.

Cause of Parkinson’s

Although the exact cause of PD is unknown, researchers believe that genetics, environmental factors, and damage to specific brain cells play a role in its development. But it’s important to note that PD is a diverse disease, which means that 2 people will never experience the disease the exact same way.

Treating Parkinson’s

While there is no cure for PD, treatment options may be available to manage the symptoms and maintain the senior’s quality of life, depending on its stage.

Levodopa is a common drug used to treat PD, as it replaces the dopamine lost due to the disease. Other medications that boost dopamine levels or reduce the effects of acetylcholine may also be prescribed.

Therapies, such as physical or occupational therapy, can be beneficial for motor function improvements and mobility maintenance. Exercise is typically good for anyone at any age, but a clinical study performed on PD revealed that individuals who exercised for at least 2.5 hours per week near the beginning of their diagnosis improved their quality of life and slowed the disease’s progression compared to those who didn’t

In advanced stages of PD, deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an option in which a surgeon implants electrodes in the brain, which generates electrical impulses that regulate brain activity and reduce tremors and other PD symptoms. While DBS is not a cure, it can significantly improve the individual’s quality of life.

What Should Be Considered in a Parkinson’s Care Plan?

Below are some things you or the caregiver should consider when building a care plan for someone with PD.

Medical Management

A Parkinson’s care plan should start with an accurate assessment of the condition’s stage and progression, insights into symptom severity, and their effects on daily life. Medical management includes the management of medication to treat PD symptoms.

Factors like dosages, timings, efficacy, and the side effects of medication should be carefully monitored and adjusted as necessary.

Caregiver Education

Parkinson’s is a complex disease, and effective care requires the participation of family, friends, and professional caregivers. It is essential to educate caregivers and everyone involved in the patient’s care on the unique challenges of Parkinson’s disease. As caregivers, it’s essential to know about proper hygiene, best practices for mobility assistance, and how to establish a safe environment for the patient.

Mental Health Care

Parkinson’s can impact the quality of life for both patients and caregivers. Managing the emotional and psychological implications of the disease should also be part of the care plan. Individuals with Parkinson’s can experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues owing to the changes in the brain. Patients must also attend therapy sessions to address these concerns.

Nutritional Management

Maintaining a balanced diet and adequate hydration is crucial for Parkinson’s patients. Possible nutritional interventions can help reduce gastrointestinal complications, weight loss, and other complications. It’s vital to work with a nutritionist to develop a comprehensive diet plan focused on meeting specific nutritional goals.

Environment Adaptations

Parkinson’s disease can severely impact an individual’s mobility, and environmental adjustments may be required eventually. Accommodations ranging from grab bars in bathrooms, wheelchair ramps, and movement-triggered lighting are all examples of adaptations that may facilitate easier daily living for a Parkinson’s patient.

Discuss Care Plans with Fox Trail

Parkinson’s disease is a dynamic and complex neurological condition that requires specialized care management. Developing an effective Parkinson’s care plan requires a comprehensive, collaborative, and multidisciplinary approach that addresses medical, emotional, and environmental constraints. Our experienced caregivers can give your loved one the care they need with personalized care plans. Contact our team at Fox Trail Memory Care today and book a community tour.

Written by adminfoxtrail

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