Things Families Should Do Following a Parkinson’s Diagnosis

Finding out your senior loved one has Parkinson’s disease can be overwhelming and leave you feeling lost, scared, upset, and helpless. However, the sooner you take action, the better you can help your loved one handle their health. Here are some of the first steps you should take after the diagnosis.

Make an Appointment with a Specialist

The very first thing you should do after your loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s is make an appointment with a specialist. The disease and its symptoms will progress over time, and a specialist can help you find the right treatments and therapies and let you know what to expect. Consider seeing a neurologist with experience in this area as well as someone who specializes in movement disorders.

Encourage Your Loved One to Adopt Healthy Habits

While there’s no cure for Parkinson’s, studies suggest that making some lifestyle changes may alleviate symptoms and improve areas like motor coordination, balance, gait, memory, and concentration. Encourage your loved one to get moving by helping them find activities they enjoy, such as swimming, walking, or hiking. 

 

You can also help your loved one make improvements to their diet and ensure they get high-quality sleep each night. Parkinson’s can make sleeping difficult. Ensuring your loved one has a restful environment and nightly routine that encourages rest are essential. 

If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Corio by Institute on Aging (IOA), a leading provider of senior care. Our professional in-home caregivers are available around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. 

Plan for Your Loved One’s Physical Safety

In time, Parkinson’s may impair your loved one’s physical and mental functions, so it’s important to look after their safety. This might involve removing clutter and other physical obstacles from their home, adding handrails and ramps, checking in regularly to look for changes in their condition, and making plans for when your loved one can no longer live at home.

Ensure Your Loved One Has Plenty of Emotional Support

Finding out you have a life-changing disease can impact your mental health as much as your physical health. Your loved one needs plenty of emotional support from friends, family, and possibly even professional therapists. Make sure they continue participating in social activities. Look for social groups for seniors in your community. 

It’s also important to keep in mind your loved one may be resistant to making lifestyle changes. Always ask your loved one how you can help them or encourage them rather than making decisions for them or making demands. 

For many families, hourly home care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Corio by IOA, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call today. 

Do Some Research on Parkinson’s Disease

The more you know about Parkinson’s, the better equipped you’ll be to handle this new reality. Talk to doctors, experts, and other people who have the disease or have had loved ones with it. Read up on it online. Get involved with trusted organizations that support people with Parkinson’s.

Take Care of Yourself

Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Finding out a loved one has a disease is tough on everyone who cares about them, so make sure you address your own mental and emotional needs. Take time for self-care. If you’re a caregiver for your loved one, make sure you have plenty of support from others.

Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their day-to-day responsibilities. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs 24-hour home care, Corio by IOA can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. Call us today to learn about our high-quality San Francisco home care.