Because of the unpredictable way symptoms can progress, there’s no standard treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Even so, seniors with this condition often benefit from a combination of therapies. Here are some of the best PD therapies that can help your senior loved one maintain a high quality of life for as long as possible.
Physical Therapy (PT)
PT is commonly recommended for seniors with Parkinson’s because it can be tailored to their capabilities and needs in a way that can help them maintain functional independence as the disease progresses. Physical therapy for Parkinson’s can be both active (requiring participation) and passive in nature. Options include:
• Exercises that target joints and supporting soft tissues
• Stretching routines that help with range of motion, balance, and stability
• Therapeutic massages
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 at-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 (OT)
Physical and occupational therapy are often assumed to be pretty much the same thing, but OT is different in that it’s meant to help seniors perform their various daily tasks as the disease progresses. Occupational therapists typically make recommendations designed to help with:
• Fall prevention
• Sit-to-stand transfers
• Bed mobility to help with safely getting in and out of bed
• Postural support
• Personal care routines, such as shampooing hair and brushing teeth
Art-based activities can be beneficial because multiple parts of the brain are stimulated at the same time. Using brushes to paint can help with fine motor skills. Drawing, sculpting, and other forms of art therapy can also enhance mood and self-confidence.
Dancing, singing, drumming, and tapping in time to the beat are just some of the many forms music therapy can take for older adults with Parkinson’s. Music therapy can help with many different PD-related issues, including:
• Balance and stride length
• Side-to-side movement
• Posture and coordination
As Parkinson’s progresses, rigidity and stiffness can affect limbs and the torso, which can make it difficult to benefit from land-based exercises. Aquatic therapy achieves the same goals in water, which reduces pressure on the body while still providing sufficient resistance. If done in a heated pool, aquatic therapy also helps with movement by increasing circulation.
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 Palm Desert, 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.
Seniors with Parkinson’s sometimes develop issues with speech (dysarthria). If this is what your loved one is experiencing, speech therapy can be beneficial. Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) is a special type of speech therapy specifically designed for those with Parkinson’s, and it helps with vocal tone and projection.
A speech-language pathologist can also recommend strengthening exercises that target muscles in the throat if your loved one has difficulty with swallowing. This type of therapy includes teaching your loved one how to make appropriate adjustments, such as sitting up straight with his or her head slightly forward while eating.
Emotional Health Therapy
Parkinson’s disease can be emotionally draining for seniors, which is why emotional health therapies can be equally beneficial. Therapies of this nature may involve helping your loved one learn effective techniques to manage depression, anxiety, and stress.
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 home care service. Palm Desert, 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. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (760) 345-0001.