Parkinson's In-Home Care
A Parkinson’s diagnosis is a life-changing event for the patient and for their loved ones. It can bring with it feelings of denial, fear, anger or even guilt. Arming yourself with knowledge will enable you to anticipate and prepare for changes in behavior as well as physical, mental and emotional needs. Caregivers play a major role in the well-being of a person with Parkinson’s disease.
Caregivers take on many responsibilities, from accompanying a loved one to doctor appointments to managing more household responsibilities. What’s important is establishing a partnership — a mutual understanding of what kind of help with daily tasks and emotional support the person with Parkinson’s wants and needs as the disease impacts your routines and lives. As a person living with Parkinson’s, your needs for care and support can vary and evolve as the disease changes. Talking openly about what you are experiencing, clearly communicating on a day-to-day basis, and exercising patience are critical for both the person with Parkinson’s and the caregivers.
How can AstraCare help you?
RESPITE SERVICES FOR THE PRIMARY CAREGIVER
AstraCare will introduce you to a caring caregiver trained to provide non-medical care and respite help to the family members and primary caregiver of the person with Parkinson’s. The caregiver can help around the house, help with light housework, meal preparation, run errands and do the shopping. Respite care is intended for short-term services so the full-time caregiver has an opportunity to attend to their own personal needs, and ease the stresses of their daily life.
AstraCare’s caregiver will help with bathing, eating, dressing, toileting, transferring, oral hygiene, shaving and other activities of daily living (ADL’s). They will also assist with housekeeper duties to relieve the primary caregiver of their daily tasks.
With a diagnosis of Parkinson’s adjustments to the home can help to make your home more comfortable and safer for the Parkinson’s patient especially if they are fatigued and have gait and balance issues. AstraCare’s professional team can help make small changes such as removal of extension cords or plugs on the floor, securing or taping down throw rugs, obtaining non-slip shoes, moving furniture or removing furniture to make passage-ways wider and prevent falls. Put phones in each room or have the patient carry a cell phone at all times, night lights, bathroom bars, elevated toilet seat with side bars on the toilet seat, non-slip bathroom mats, and walker. Depending on the progression of the disease there may be more items needed for safety which can be addressed with the AstraCare professional team.
EXERCISE AND PT
For the person with Parkinson’s disease your new normal is a daily struggle with coordination, gait and balance. While exercising may seem overwhelming, current research indicates that staying fit can dramatically affect the progression of the disease. Studies show that exercise stimulates the brain; exercising may create new pathways in the brain that enable the body to move more normally. Exercise is important for general health and well-being and can ease motor and non-motor symptoms such as constipation and sleep problems. Our caregiver will encourage and maintain the daily required exercise routine to optimize wellbeing. DOCTORS ADVISE beginning physical therapy as soon as possible after the diagnosis. A physical therapist can help guide you to the best exercise program for your needs, as well as help you improve your mobility. The best exercise is one that is safe, enjoyable and supports your goals. Remember that symptoms can fluctuate, so some days may be better than others.
MANAGING A HEALTHY DIET
Your AstraCare caregiver will help you eat a well-balanced diet filled with foods from each basic food groups; meats, dairy, fruits, vegetables and grains. Ask your doctor if you need supplements, find out what your ideal weight is and what your daily caloric intake should be in order to maintain a healthy weight. Eating high fiber foods such as dried peas, beans whole grain breads and fresh fruit will assist in the prevention of constipation. Keep sugars, salt and saturated fats to a minimum or out of your diet completely and make sure to drink at least 6 8 oz. glasses of water daily.
Your caregiver understands the importance for the person with Parkinson’s Disease to take their medications on time in order to get effective symptom relief. Make sure to speak with your doctor so you understand how to take your medications and what time during the day. Some medications can be taken on an empty stomach, others need to be taken with food. Make sure to discuss with your doctor what supplements may interfere with your prescribed medications in order to avoid them. It’s important to know how the medications make you feel; when they started to work and how you feel when they start to wear off. Have all of your prescriptions filled at one pharmacy and make sure to renew them early. Keep an updated medication sheet and let your caregiver know if you notice a change in how you are feeling, physically mentally or emotionally.
You can tailor most exercises to work on memory and thinking. For example, while exercising, you can do cognitive exercises or name as many items as you can think of in a category (such as animals or songs or cities) in one minute examples of other exercises include knitting for finger dexterity, word association games, word searches or matching pairs into categories. Ask your physical therapist for other ideas of brain stimulating exercises and make this an enjoyable activity with your caregiver.
Don’t forget your own interests and your life outside of Parkinson’s disease. Ask your caregiver to schedule regular social activities for your loved one. Outings with friends, or classes that interest you. If your loved one with Parkinson’s requires constant care, AstraCare will provided temporary help (sometimes called “respite care”) which will allow the primary caregiver the time to seek the support and rest that they need.
AstraCare’s professional team can provide an outside view on how the person with Parkinson’s is doing which is vital information you need to bring to your next doctor appointment. Your caregiver may also recognize new symptoms or subtle changes that the person with Parkinson’s doesn’t, such as changes in mood or behaviors, withdrawal from social interaction, or speech that has become softer or more monotone.
Support Groups can offer the opportunity to share experiences and information with empathetic ears. There are groups for people with Parkinson’s and their loved ones to attend together and separate groups just for primary caregivers.
Once you make the decision to go with the highly skilled team at AstraCare our Registered Nurse will be involved with all aspects of care. You and your loved one will have access to our AstraCare RN who holds extensive medical expertise and can answer your medical questions or help you find the proper ways to resolve medical issues as they arise. This is available to you as part of our in home care service. The AstraCare RN is accessible by phone 24 hours-a-day or for in-home visits. A nursing assessment, history and medication review is provided. A Plan of Care is done by the RN in conjunction with the doctor and left in the home for easy access to health information. AstraCare’s RN can help find and make appointments with specialty doctors, set up medication boxes and provide comforting support to you and your loved one. At AstraCare, you are not alone during this time and our RN can help you navigate through the journey.
Once you make the decision to go with the highly skilled team at AstraCare our Registered Nurse is involved with all aspects of care.
CHOOSE PARKINSON'S IN-HOME CARE
You Can Always Rely On Us
AstraCare strives to offer the best in personalized care services. Whatever your exact needs are, our caring and compassionate staff are here for you.