Close to one million seniors in the United States are living with Parkinson’s. Tremors remain one of the first symptoms of the disease. As the disorder progresses, the involuntary movements become more prominent. In time, simple daily tasks may become increasingly difficult. Research has revealed a number of methods that may reduce the severity of tremors.
1. Engage in Routine Exercise
Researchers from the Michael J. Fox Foundation report engaging in exercise routines has been shown to manage Parkinson’s symptoms. The more intense the physical activity, the greater and more long-lasting the benefits. Fast cycling on a conventional or stationary bike is highly recommended for tremor reduction. Alternatives include dancing, swimming, and walking. Cycling and swimming are low-impact activities that provide a number of physical advantages while being gentle on aging joints. Scientists are also evaluating the possibility that exercise may possess neurological-protective characteristics.
Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need 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 senior care. 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 serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
Stretching once or twice each day alleviates muscle stiffness while increasing flexibility. Relaxing the muscles and connective tissues also slows nerve impulses, which reduces tremors. Stretches that require constant movement are safer and more beneficial for seniors with Parkinson’s. Therapists recommend performing each active stretching exercise for 20 to 30 seconds. Physical therapists are able to assess the specific stretches and exercises that may provide the greatest degree of results. The ancient practice of tai chi is often recommended. The activity requires continual fluid movements performed while focusing on breathing technique. The practice enhances flexibility, balance, and strength while encouraging the relaxation of the musculoskeletal system.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Denver seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
3. Make Dietary Changes
Eating at the wrong times or choosing the wrong foods can play a role in the effectiveness of Parkinson’s medications. Meals high in protein interfere with the body’s ability to absorb levodopa. Thus, some physicians recommend seniors with Parkinson’s limit their protein intake to 12 percent of their food consumption. Dopamine replacement medications should also be taken on an empty stomach two to three hours before a meal. Certain foods also interfere with medication absorption and action. The list includes:
• Aged cheese
• Beer or red wine
• Cured, dried, or fermented fish or meat
• Fermented cabbage
• Iron supplements
• Soy products
Increasing the number of fruit and vegetable servings protects nerve tissue by supplying much-needed nutrients and antioxidants that prevent free radical damage.
4. Try Acupuncture
Scientists from the neurodegenerative disease research group at King’s College London discovered the benefits acupuncture provides people with Parkinson’s. The traditional form of Chinese medicine stimulates the putamen and thalamus in the brain, which are more susceptible to inflammation. A trained and experienced acupuncturist uses the technique to slow cell destruction and death while alleviating oxidative stress that leads to the malfunction of neurons in the substantia nigra that are responsible for dopamine activity. The alternative therapy is considered safe for seniors with Parkinson’s. However, the results are temporary, and ongoing treatments are necessary for optimal results.
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 Denver 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. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (720) 443-3371.