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Top Therapy Activities for Seniors with Parkinson’s Disease

By , 9:00 am on

If your aging loved one has Parkinson’s disease, he or she may benefit from various types of therapy. Coupled with prescription medication, therapy can be highly effective in relieving certain neurological symptoms of Parkinson’s while staving off future damage to the neurological system. Here are some therapy ideas for seniors who have Parkinson’s.

Speech Therapy

As the neurological effects of Parkinson’s disease progress, the voice may get weaker, and your loved one may need to visit a speech pathologist for therapy. Speech therapy can enhance tonal quality and muscle and vocal cord function. A speech therapist can also perform a swallowing evaluation to determine if your loved one is at risk for choking. If so, swallowing exercises and a special diet may be recommended so your loved one is less likely to aspirate. 

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, a Roseville senior 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.

Occupational Therapy

Aging adults with Parkinson’s often have difficulty with upper body strength and control. Occupational therapy can increase range of motion of the arms, reduce spasticity, diminish pain, and strengthen hand grasps. If your loved one has difficulty with face washing, oral hygiene, and styling the hair, an occupational therapist can work with him or her to increase upper body function so these activities of daily living are easier to perform. Occupational therapy may also reduce head shaking, which is another common neurological symptom of Parkinson’s disease. If your loved one is unable to leave the home to attend occupational therapy sessions, talk to his or her physician, who can make arrangements for the therapist to work with your loved one at home.

Physical Therapy

Parkinson’s also affects the lower extremities and can lead to a condition known as cogwheel rigidity, which creates a “stop and go” type of gait that can raise the risk for falls. The physical therapist will work with your loved one to increase his or her gait and enhance lower extremity strength and coordination. During physical therapy, your loved one may also spend time navigating stairs so he or she is less likely to sustain an in-home accident or injury when climbing or descending stairs. Other physical therapy interventions may include riding a stationary bicycle to increase stamina and balance while reducing the risk for muscle atrophy.

Mobility issues in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease can make caring for aging adults increasingly challenging. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Roseville, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Pet Therapy

Parkinson’s can lead to severe depression and anxiety, and while medications can relieve symptoms, they may be associated with dangerous side effects. Animal companionship can keep your loved one calm and reduce the frequency and severity of episodes of aggressive behavior. If your loved one is able to care for a pet, consider getting a small dog or cat. If pet ownership isn’t an option, schedule visits to an animal shelter or a petting zoo so your loved one can spend time with animals. People with Parkinson’s disease may also be at a higher risk for high blood pressure, and studies have shown that exposure to pets can lower blood pressure.

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 elderly home care. Roseville, 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. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 916.226.3737.