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Treatment Strategies for Parkinson’s

By , 9:00 am on

Parkinson’s disease can cause minor or significant neurological symptoms. Your elderly loved one may have the ability to perform the activities of daily living when Parkinson’s is in its early stages. However, advanced stages of the disease may lead to mobility, swallowing, and speaking difficulties. Here are some Parkinson’s disease treatment guidelines you should know about.

Exercise

Exercising enhances muscle strength and may ease leg spasms. It can also reduce depression, which is common in those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. While exercises such as stretching, walking, and dancing can enhance muscle tone, your loved one’s doctor may recommend enrolling in a physical or occupational therapy program to further enhance balance and gait. Exercise can also promote feelings of wellbeing and prevent insomnia, which can sometimes impact those with Parkinson’s.

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable senior care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Speech Therapy

Your loved one may have swallowing difficulties as a result of muscle problems in the throat and pharynx. A speech therapist can teach exercises to facilitate swallowing so the risks for choking and muscle spasms in the throat are reduced. Many seniors with Parkinson’s are afraid to eat because of the choking risk and may lose weight and develop nutritional deficiencies. Based on a swallowing evaluation, the speech therapist may recommend consuming a soft diet until swallowing function returns to normal. Also, thickened liquids may be recommended because people with swallowing disorders often have problems with thin liquids. People with Parkinson’s who consume thin liquids may be at risk for aspiration when the liquid goes into the lungs instead of down the esophagus.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Edmonton seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Carbidopa-Levodopa

Medications are often prescribed to manage Parkinson’s symptoms, including hand and leg tremors, head shaking, balance problems, muscle rigidity, and unsteady gait. One of the most common medications used in the treatment of Parkinson’s is the combination drug known as Carbidopa-Levodopa. While this medication can reduce the incidence and severity of neurological problems, it may lose its effectiveness over time. If this happens, your loved one’s physician may prescribe a different Parkinson’s drug or augment the medication protocol with muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety medications, both of which can relax the muscles so spasticity is milder and less noticeable.

Surgical Intervention

Surgical intervention is often reserved for those who no longer respond to medications or are in the late stages of Parkinson’s disease. Surgeons can perform deep brain stimulation, an invasive procedure in which electrodes are implanted in the brain. The electrical stimulation to the brain may reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. However, there’s a risk for infection or even a stroke. The surgeon will thoroughly explain the risks and benefits of deep brain stimulation so you and your loved one can make an informed decision as to whether this treatment option is appropriate.

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Edmonton at-home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Call us today at (780) 977-7379 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.