Benefits of Having Senior Care for Your Loved One with Parkinson's

Benefits of Having Senior Care for Your Loved One with Parkinson's
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive, neurological disease that mainly affects movement but can also affect cognition. Resulting from the destruction of nerve cells in the basal ganglia, different nerve signals within the brain that control thoughts, movements, emotions, and senses, PD basically leads to the loss of mental and physical control overall. By the time the most visible PD symptoms are recognized, approximately 50% of the dopamine-producing cells in the brain have been lost. 

Since Parkinson’s is more common in people 60 and older, senior care is helpful with your loved ones when even the pre-existing symptoms have been noticed. Sometimes there are valuable benefits that come from senior care when your family has a genetic risk for Parkinson’s or other brain disorders, even if genetic causes of PD exist in only about 6–8% of all cases. Most often there was an environmental exposure to certain toxins during your loved one’s lifetime that may lead to the disease. When planning for this, it is helpful to prepare ahead of time that symptoms need to be watched for, especially if your senior spent years working with herbicides, pesticides, and other toxins.

Symptoms Progress in Severity Over Time

All persons with Parkinson’s do not develop the same symptoms, and any symptoms that do develop may change over time as the disease progresses. With several stages of PD that develop as your loved one will continue to age, motor symptoms may be different and eventually more severe. With some of these symptoms making daily life more difficult, senior care can be helpful on a daily basis in order to make life more sustainable. There are both motor and non-motor symptoms, often starting on one side of the body and eventually progressing to both sides. The primary symptoms most commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease are:
  • Tremor
  • Rigidity or stiffnessSlow movement or loss of movement 
  • Balance and walking problems
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Speech problems
  • Cognition issues
  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Eyelid closure
  • Difficulty or small writing
  • Urinary urgency and frequency 
  • Excessive sweating
Additionally, there is the potential for pre-symptoms to start as early as 10 years before motor symptoms appear. At the time that some of these are seen it is helpful for your loved one to see their doctor. Some of these pre-symptoms include the following:
  • Constipation
  • Loss of smell or decreased acuity in smelling
  • Sleep disorders
  • Pain
  • Flakiness of skin around nose, forehead, and chin
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
It is important to know that these things happening does not definitely mean that Parkinson’s will occur later in life. These are just potential symptoms ahead of time and could be a reason to be cautious of symptoms further down the line. If your loved one has started seeing any of these symptoms, it could be an indicator of being prepared for a diagnosis later on, along with senior care.

Senior Care Helping People Living with Parkinson’s

Preparing for caregiving starts with education. Reading this fact sheet is a good start. More resources are available to you in the Resources section of this fact sheet. Early PD usually requires more emotional support, but hands-on care is essential later on. Specialized senior care can provide many different options needed for in-home care, including the following: 
  • Nutrition and Meal Planning. A healthy diet is essential for those with Parkinson’s disease to help strengthen muscles and bones.
  • Personal Supervision and Home Safety. Parkinson’s disease often causes an unsteady gait, resulting in trips and falls, making it helpful to have your loved one’s home updated for safety. 
  • Daily Mobility. Some people with Parkinson’s disease need extra help with daily activities like bathing, dressing, eating and using the bathroom, all of which senior care can provide assistance.
  • Exercise. For people with Parkinson’s disease, exercise is vital to maintaining balance, mobility and strength. Senior care can assist with stretching, walking and other light exercise programs.
  • Transportation. Driving can be difficult or restricted for those with Parkinson’s and senior care can help with all transportation needs.
  • Family caregiver relief. Caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease can be physically demanding and emotionally exhausting. Senior care helps provide peace of mind for the entire family in caring for your loved one.
Active diagnosis and treatment of PD-related motor functions occur more often than the diagnosis and treatment of life-impairing cognitive disease-related conditions. Often, family, friends, and caregivers may notice cognition changes much earlier than your loved one, and it is important that all of you bring those to the doctor’s attention.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Sugarhouse, UT, contact the caring staff at Interim Healthcare. Call today 801-401-3515.?

Author: Michael and Marlena Hawkins, Owners, Interim HealthCare, Salt Lake City, UT 

Interim HealthCare of Salt Lake City has been in business since February 2014, providing in-home personal care and support services that help our elderly and/or disabled neighbors live enriched, safe and independent lives. Our goal is to provide customized care and support services that make it possible for our clients to remain in the comfort of their own homes rather than relocate to an assisted living facility. Interim HealthCare is family owned by Michael and Marlana Hawkins, and is a Veteran Owned Small Business.

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