Think of the mind of a senior with Parkinson’s as an increasingly difficult maze. The brain is constantly sending messages along pathways, and the messengers, known as neurotransmitters, sometimes get lost when obstacles pop up in the maze. Instead of giving up, those messengers try to find clear pathways to their intended destinations. Here’s some information on creating new neural pathways.
If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Rocklin, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Finding New Pathways that Lead to Dopamine
Parkinson’s disease is caused when neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain die or become impaired. Those neurons carry a chemical called dopamine, which is required to stimulate the part of the brain controlling movement and other cognitive functions. There’s research suggesting new neural pathways may be formed as the brain compensates for lack of dopamine by locating other areas where it can find the chemical it needs.
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 in-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.
Creating New Neural Pathways by Learning
Every human brain, regardless of whether or not it’s affected by Parkinson’s, is capable of creating new neural pathways. While there are still uncertainties when it comes to Parkinson’s disease, research suggests adjacent areas within the brain can assume additional functions. This is what happens when stroke survivors recover and regain movement in affected parts of their bodies. Certain therapies may create new neural pathways as abilities and functions are relearned. The same concept applies when seniors learn new ways to compensate for slow movement, such as walking with exaggerated motions to retain balance. When creating new neural pathways, it’s important to consider the following steps to effectively change the brain:
- Determine the new habit
- Shift focus from the old habit by recognizing the value of the new habit
- Identify triggers for the old habit and have a plan to address those triggers
- Repeat, repeat, repeat—it takes about two months to truly establish a new habit
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 homecare. Rocklin, CA, 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. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your parent, give us a call at (916) 226-3737 today.