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Living with Parkinson’s: A Guide to Helping Seniors Manage the Disease

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Parkinson’s disease can make everyday tasks more challenging for seniors, but they don’t have to resign themselves to a lower quality of life. The Fort Myers, FL, Parkinson’s home care experts at Home Care Assistance discuss the ways you can help your elderly loved one manage the disease and accomplish some of these important tasks.

Eating

The tremors and swallowing difficulties associated with Parkinson’s disease can make mealtimes a challenge. You can make it easier for your loved one to eat independently by providing:

  • Placemats to prevent plates and cups from slipping
  • Plates with guards or raised lips to keep food from spilling and to make it easier to get food on the utensils
  • Cups with spillproof lids, large handles, and straws

Bathing

Encourage your loved one to use a shower chair to conserve energy and prevent fatigue. Purchase soap on a rope, sponges containing soap, or bath mitts to make it easier for your loved one to hold on to soap. Using a terry cloth robe to dry off instead of a towel can reduce fatigue and make it easier to get those hard-to-reach spots.

Grooming and Toileting

Relying on others to help with highly personal activities like grooming and toileting can have a huge effect on the self-esteem of a senior with Parkinson’s. You can help your loved one accomplish these tasks independently by:

  • Encouraging him or her to perform grooming activities while sitting to conserve energy
  • Purchasing combs, hairbrushes, and toothbrushes with built-up handles
  • Supplying a bedside commode or an elevated toilet seat with handrails to make it easier to stand from a seated position

Dressing

Tremors, muscle rigidity, and loss of dexterity can make dressing extremely difficult for seniors with Parkinson’s. The following clothing items and accessories can help simplify the process for your loved one:

  • Loose-fitting pants with elastic or drawstring waists
  • Shirts that wrap around or have large buttons, Velcro, or zippers
  • Shoes that slip on or fasten with Velcro
  • Shoehorns, dressing sticks, and button hooks

At Home Care Assistance, our Parkinson’s caregivers can assist your loved one with the above tasks and much more. Learn more about the senior care Fort Myers, FL, families trust by calling 239.449.4701 and scheduling a free in-home consultation.