Aging at Home Caregiving Wellbeing

Alternative Treatments for Seniors with Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects movement. It is characterized by tremors, stiffness and difficulty with balance and coordination. The disease can also cause problems with speech and swallowing.

Oftentimes, seniors who experience Parkinson’s are prescribed medications to help manage their symptoms. However, there are also alternative treatments that can be used in conjunction with medication to help seniors with Parkinson’s disease live more comfortably.

With that in mind, the professional caregivers at Home Care Assistance Dayton would like to shed some light on the following holistic PD treatment methods.

 

Coenzyme Q10

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is found in every cell of the body. It plays a key role in growth and maintenance, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.

For most seniors who experience early Parkinson’s disease symptoms, frequent doses of coenzyme Q10 can help. To really benefit from using coenzyme Q10, it must be taken for at least 16 months or more.

 

Exercise

For seniors with Parkinson’s, exercise is a great way to manage symptoms. Exercise can help improve balance, coordination and strength. It also helps to maintain muscle tone and strength. This can help prevent falls and other injuries that are common among people who have Parkinson’s disease.

Here are some exercise that are especially helpful for those looking to improve Parkinson’s symptoms.

  • Tai chi is an old Chinese exercise that utilizes slow movements, which increase balance and strength. It is a very helpful treatment option for seniors with Parkinson’s disease because improved balance may prevent seniors from falling. Tai chi is recommended for seniors with reasonable range of motion.
  • Seniors who prefer a bit of meditation with exercise should try yoga instead. Yoga improves balance and flexibility, strengthens the body’s core muscles—and it can also reduce stress!
  • The Alexander technique is a physical treatment option that focuses on balance, posture, and mental abilities. Over time, the exercise may decrease pain and tension in sore muscles in addition to increasing energy.

 

Alternative Treatments for Seniors with Parkinson’s

 

Meditation

Meditation is a helpful tool at any age, but for seniors with Parkinson’s it can be especially advantageous because it helps reduce stress and anxiety—two common feelings for those with the disease.

Meditation has been known to improve focus and concentration, which may be helpful for seniors who have difficulty remembering things or staying on task.

This can also be helpful because it lets your elderly loved one focus and reflect on a specific thought or image. Frequent practice can reduce pain and stress, and it can also enhance an individual’s sense of wellbeing.

Encourage your senior loved one to spend at least 15 minutes each day meditating. This can be done in a quiet room, outside in nature or even while lying down. If your loved one has never meditated before, start with a guided meditation app or video. There are many free options available online that can help get them started.

 

Music and Art Therapy

Guided meditation is a helpful way to improve seniors’ with Parkinson’s, but did you know that listening to their favorite music can help too?

Listening to music can reduce your senior loved one’s stress and agitation. It can also improve their mood and help them feel more connected to the world around them. If your loved one has a favorite song or artist, encourage them to listen to it every day. If they don’t have any preferences, try playing different types of music and see which ones they enjoy most.

If you’re looking for a more guided way to incorporate music into your senior’s life, music therapy is the perfect option. Each senior is different and will have different needs and goals—but the overall result of this type of therapy is a happier, healthier senior.

One other alternative is art therapy, like painting or ceramics, to help your senior loved one feel more connected and engaged. It has often been known to improve your loved one’s outlook and help rid him or her of negativity, while also decreasing stress levels.

In general, trying to connect your senior with the arts can be a great way to improve his or her quality of life and improve their Parkinson’s symptoms.

 

Pet Therapy 

Furry companions can be a great source of comfort and support for seniors, including those with Parkinson’s disease.

Having and interacting with a pet can improve a senior’s movement and flexibility, provided he or she walks and plays with the animal. Many families encourage their loved ones to have pets because they bring so much joy to the individual in need.

Pet therapy can not only ward off feelings of isolation and depression, but provide your senior loved one with a greater sense of joy, purpose and motivation – all key components of our Balanced Care Method™.

Additionally, your loved one may also show signs of improved cognitive function with regular interaction and socialization with the pet.

 

Even with a combination of traditional medications and alternative methods, Parkinson’s symptoms can still make day-to-day activities challenging for many seniors with PD. If your senior loved one could use help cooking, cleaning, running errands, or benefit from mobility support, turn to Home Care Assistance. We provide quality in-home Parkinson’s care for Dayton seniors and offer both hourly and live-in care schedules. Contact us today for more information.

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